Sr Director, Product Innovation

San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted 1 month ago
Full timeProduction

About the Role

The Senior Director of Product Innovation will drive the development of Athleta’s product incubation, creation and execution in support of the brand’s design vision, business strategies, B Corp targets and financial goals. This role will lead multiple teams, bringing innovative product to life while instilling a culture of collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement.

We are looking for a seasoned leader for the Fabric R&D, Product Engineering, Fit and Sustainability teams, focused on developing transformational operating initiatives for the future. We require a strategic thinker with high curiosity and learning agility who has a passion for product and process, with intricate knowledge of product life cycles within the performance industry. This role works across leaders and functions to ensure Athleta’s product, design, and innovation strategies are fully integrated with defined economics. Connecting the dots and creating a seamless process from fabric briefings, knowledge of vendor capabilities to inform development placement and ensuring an exceptional customer experience through consistent and superior fit.

This candidate must be a strong team leader and change agent who can navigate a complex global cross functional organization. This individual must be adept at navigating tough discussions up, down and across, managing through ambiguity, and holding themselves and stakeholders accountable. This leader must be an analytical, empathetic, and data-driven problem solver that will offer and articulate simple, and creative solutions to complex problems.

This leader must also have a proven track record of evolving and refining the product lifecycle, managing change and tight deadlines, multiple development ratios and creation timelines, while optimizing garment construction, fit costing, and quality integrity, while balancing sustainability and our financial targets. Finally, this leader must be passionate about collaborating with the design and global sourcing teams to bring the seasonal vision to life to deliver on the Power of She.

What You'll Do

  • Build and develop a high-performing organization; ready to anticipate customer demands, provide proactive ideas to the design and product development process (from fabric briefing to garment execution) and effectively collaborate throughout the product lifecycle
  • Collaborate with sourcing leaders to develop a competitive, responsive global sourcing network while maintaining and optimizing Athleta’s unique design intent, and value proposition
  • Collaborate and influence cross functionally to collapse siloes within the organization to enable synergy, alignment, and efficiency throughout Athleta, Gap Inc and the product creation organization
  • Build and lead a seasoned team of fabric developers, fit technicians, product engineers, and sustainability leaders
  • Partner closely with Design, Merchandising and Sourcing to drive the right strategic and financial decisions and investments
  • Proactively foster cross functional relationships to collaborate or gain alignment on product and process recommendations.
  • Anticipate roadblocks and proactively address issues before impacting business results.
  • Ensure successful implementation of the Athleta's Product Pipeline process. Continuously review and lead team progress to identify opportunities to increase speed to market, product execution, and efficiency.
  • Lead the cross functional effort to drive seasonal product adoption within pre-aligned metrics (quality, aesthetic, cost, timing, development ratio, assortment architecture etc.)
  • Establish, align and timely communicate appropriate guardrails and information flow to streamline working team efficiency
  • Ensure relevant programs are on track and lead communication accordingly
  • Create and implement effective and repeatable processes
  • Drive organization structure, process transformations, accountability and alignment to achieve optimal efficiency.
  • Establish and execute on the necessary processes for creating change that focuses on continuous, sustainable improvement
  • Successfully lead team through significant change and process improvement while demonstrating curiosity, openness and positivity
  • Continue to develop, influence and execute global strategic sourcing plans
  • Instill a high-performance culture; Lead by example

Who You Are

  • +15 years of product development, sourcing, and sustainability in roles of increasing scope, complexity and leadership responsibility. Performance or related industry preferred.  An ability to transfer learnings required.
  • Proven track record of leading and implementing change initiatives and process transformations in a global context, while maintaining a functioning, motivated and stable organization which is delivering results.
  • Significant professional experience working with overseas vendors across multiple business models including factory direct, overseas office, agents, joint ventures and others
  • Ability to operate effectively in a matrixed and evolving organizational environment; skillful at leveraging the potential within the existing organization
  • Superior communication skills at all levels of the organization
  • Experience in establishing performance metrics and accountability for results
  • Success in developing and implementing comprehensive succession planning, mentoring, and future development programs for employees
  • Adept at change leadership with a high energy level, strong leadership skills and the ability to work and manage across different cultures
  • Exceptional analytical, creative problem solving and negotiation skills
  • Ability to retain top talent, develop skills, and build knowledge within the organization to increase bench strength and future succession capability. Where necessary, effectively recruit and onboard top talent (across functions) aligned with organizational needs

Actively manage and measure organizational performance through quantitative and qualitative assessment, including monthly/quarterly department performance metrics, turnover and productivity targets, customer/employee surveys and industry benchmarking

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