Our client is a manufacturer of premium pet food. They are currently seeking to fill a new role of  Vice President of Research & Innovation. This position will report to the Executive VP, and is based in Central Canada.


The VP, Research & Innovation has primary responsibility for overseeing the daily functions of the Research, Innovation and Product Development Department. Providing leadership to the 20 scientists and engineers in the department, coaching them to bring out their best ideas, efforts, and teamwork is critical to the success of our client. This position works alongside other VP level positions within the business to ensure all primary initiatives are executed to a high degree of effectiveness, accuracy, and follow the vision, mission, and values of the business. The VP, Research and Innovation helps to guide the translation of our business strategy into tactical advancement of our Innovation Pipeline, Research Blueprint, and Product Plan. This position is also responsible for assisting in the ideation of marketing strategies for new and existing products and in the implementation of strategic initiatives to drive innovation thrusts within the Company.

Job Duties

Oversee the planning, structure, and daily execution tactics of the employees within the Research, Innovation and Product Development department.

Coach, and provide leadership to the Research, Innovation and Product Development Department. Ensure career planning, goal setting, regular one on ones, and performance reviews are executed in a manner that builds the careers and performance capabilities of each person on the team.

Working with the EVP, understand and plan the tactics to execute on the strategies.

Participate in product planning sessions, providing input and recommendations regarding development of strategic initiatives and financial budget issues.

Oversee the development, management and tracking of the department budget for all research, innovation and technical product development related initiatives.

Develop and demonstrate extensive current knowledge of research, innovation and product development issues, opportunities and other external trends/channels that have impact on the Company’s product line.

Actively pursue, create and manage research and development processes to enhance the Company’s brands.

Alongside the Manager of Research and Nutrition, leverage relationships with educational institutions, and other members of the scientific community, and promote corporate and/or project research activities and capabilities to potential collaborators, sponsors, partners, academic institutions, and the scientific community.

Participate with the Leaders of Marketing and Customer Engagement to ensure fresh ideas that are fully on brand are consistently being propagated through business processes towards market realities.

Ensure project timelines for all related department projects are executed on time, and following the company vision, mission and values.

Liaise with other corporate functional areas and VP’s to ensure business objective are met.

Perform additional tasks, as required.


Proven leadership skills that include employee development, coaching, and team building abilities.

Minimum BS degree in an animal science, food science, animal nutrition, or related discipline.

Minimum 10 years’ work experience in product development, research, marketing or product management.

Minimum 10 years’ work experience managing personnel in a fast-paced environment; work experience in food industry would be an asset.

Strong understanding of food ingredient production methodologies and ingredient supply practices.

In-depth knowledge of current industry trends and capable of performing ongoing financial analysis.

Understanding of nutritional formulation processes and ability to interpret predictive formula analyses.

Experienced in using tools to research, design, and improve business processes.

Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.

Fluent in English, both written and spoken.

Computer literacy, including strong skills in Microsoft Office Excel and Outlook, with ability to quickly adapt to or learn new software.

High level of critical and logical thinking, analysis, and reasoning to identify underlying principles, reasons, or facts.

Excellent organizational abilities, including planning, prioritization, and execution skills.

Excellent time management skills and ability to work well under pressure to meet set deadlines.

Excellent judgment and decision-making abilities, including strong problem identification and problem resolution skills.

Self-directed, with ability to work successfully both independently and as part of a team.

Good interpersonal skills, with ability to develop and maintain successful working relationships with diverse individuals or groups.

Excellent presentation skills to engage stakeholders and clearly communicate results and/or ideas.

Experienced in developing departmental budgets and tracking progress against them.

Work Conditions

Work encompasses both office and production facility environments, with exposure to dust, noise, odors, and/or fluctuating temperatures.

Sometimes interacts with animals, pet lovers, veterinarians, and government agencies.

Intermittent physical activity includes walking, standing and sitting for extended periods of time.

Manual dexterity required to use desktop computer and peripherals.

Ability to attend and/or conduct presentations/meetings.

Some extended hours of work may be required.

Travel may be required.

Our client prefers a Canadian citizen or resident.


For more information about this position, please contact Moira McGrath at (954) 428-3888 or at moira@foodscience.com