Sr. Director, Food Platform
North America – Fort Worth, TX
Industry: Food & Beverage
The parent company of Dannon has its headquarters in Paris,
France. The company has three main divisions; the Dairy division, The
Biscuits division, and the Water Division, Groupe Danone’s Dairy division is
the largest in Europe. Lu Biscuits and Evian are examples of Danone’s
product lines. The Groupe, as it is known internally, has manufacturing
facilities in almost two dozen countries and has a presence in Western
Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia.
The Dannon Company, Inc.
The Dannon Company, Inc. is an integral part of Groupe
Danone. Dannon has three manufacturing centers in the United States;
Fort Worth, Texas, West Jordan, Utah, and Minster, Ohio, Our
headquarters and main sales offices are located in White Plains, New
York. The company’s R&D Center is in Fort Worth, Texas. Dannon
is one of the two largest providers of yogurt products in the United
States. The company has an excellent reputation for quality and product
innovation. In 2004 Dannon launched the first Low Carb Yogurt product
in the United States. In 2006 Dannon launched Activia, a pro-biotic
yogurt that promotes a healthy digestive tract. Our innovative products
have led the market for many years.
The objective of the Director of Research and Development will
be to direct the design, development and implementation of research and
development initiatives to support business objectives. The incumbent will
also maintain effective cross-functional relationships across the entire
Groupe Danone organization to ensure successful planning and execution of
initiatives. S/he will utilize existing and/or emerging technologies to
design and build consumer-valued points of competitive differentiation that
drive tactical and strategic business growth.
Leadership is a critical component of this role. The successful
candidate will have demonstrated through previous work and achievements the
following leadership characteristics:
- Commitment-commitment to the
business and the ability to deliver break through results
- Open-a “straight talk”
community approach with the ability to listen with empathy and create
connections both within and outside the company.
- Empower-the ability to provide
the leadership necessary to energize and align teams, coach and harness
- Doer-takes responsibility and
risk to show the way forward. Works with speed, agility and
Leading through an energetic and action oriented style, must
demonstrate the ability to execute a plan timely and effectively through the
use of limited resources and an internal global network of professionals.
Additionally, and importantly, the Director of R & D will
be responsible for the start up of a testing facility in Fort Worth,
Texas. This facility will be used for purposes of developing and
testing new and existing Dannon products.
- Responsible for providing
focused, responsive and inspirational leadership to the North American
research and development team of Dannon.
- Responsible to continuously
improve and develop the skills and competencies within the team.
Demonstrated ability to teach, develop and grow people is critical to
- Responsible for developing
relationships throughout global Groupe Danone in order to facilitate
cross-border innovation and thought leadership across the enterprise.
- Responsible for leading cross
functional efforts with both Marketing and Operations to ensure a strong
consumer/quality focus for all products. This responsibility
includes leading efforts on innovation, renovation and various
- Responsible for overseeing all
technical aspects of research and development for North American yogurt
- Assure the proper planning,
execution, and monitoring of approved research and development projects
for business planning and performance.
- Actively participating in the
short and long term strategic product and process planning at Dannon and
Groupe Danone by continuously scanning the both the internal and
external environments for new product and process technologies and
spearheading the commercialization of these technologies.
- Responsible for the development
of R&D plans and allocate R&D resources.
- Develop new and improved
product and process specifications to meet the growth and profitability
objectives of the business.
- Identifying “big ideas” for
product optimization and business risk mitigation associated with
ingredient markets and regulatory directives
- Providing leadership in the
process of diagnosing and recommending corrective action for technical
and product problems.
- Identify emerging technology,
food trends, and provide guidance for their development.
- Leading and directing the
product project management process at Dannon by making sure that key
priorities and objectives are being met, technical resources are
deployed effectively, and a balanced technical program is maintained.
- Directing Dannon patent and
trade secret strategies to ensure that products and processes are well
protected and have competitive advantage in the marketplace
- Assisting in providing
technical information and service to our internal/external customers and
- Actively participate in
relevant industry trade associations and professional organizations.
- Annual budget preparation.
- Education / Experience:
degree in food related discipline, engineering or sciences.
years experience in the food industry, including a minimum of 5 years
of research management experience.
experience, particularly Europe, a significant plus.
- Demonstrated leadership
abilities combined with the ability to network and resource global
resources that are internal to the organization.
- The ability to operate flexibly
and independently combine with exceptional networking and interpersonal
- Resourceful and driven, proven
ability to sell ideas, develop solid strategies and execute quickly and
- Ability to work in a fast
paced, demanding environment while maintaining perspective and balance.
- Hands-on leadership style,
demands of him/herself, deep engagement in the business and a thorough
understanding of people, processes and systems.
- Project Management; Problem
Solving; Decision Making; Process Excellence
- Research into current and novel
areas of dairy science and “live food” delivery systems.
- A knowledge of quality systems
and state of the art techniques in the field
- Must have strong presentation
and personal interaction skills
- Highly knowledgeable regarding
patent and regulatory affairs
- The ability to interact
effectively with external agencies is critical
- Excellent business acumen and a
track record of good decision-making (balancing the complex nature of
the quality role so that all aspec