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Director, Global Innovation

Date: Oct 1, 2021

Location: Downers Grove, IL, US, 60515

Company: Glanbia

Role Overview

Reporting to the VP of Consumer & Brand Strategy, the Director of Innovation (Global Marketing) leads the coordination and implementation of the GPN Innovation Strategy across the exciting brand portfolio, consisting of market leading Sports Nutrition and Lifestyle brands.


Based in Downers Grove, IL the role will work in close collaboration with the R&D Director, the Regional Innovation teams, the Sustainability team and the Insights & Analytics team to unlock consumer-led brand growth for GPN brands. 

This new role is key in shaping the long-term organisational Innovation capability and culture.  The role will drive connectivity across the GPN Innovation agenda, will champion longer term Disruptive and Sustainability initiatives in particular and will ensure effective and consistent innovation reporting across the GPN business and drive for global pipeline sufficiency.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Champions and embeds the Innovation Strategy Frameworks and Guiding Principles, delivering innovative solutions that meet existing and emerging consumer needs, fit with the relevant brand and drive incremental growth across revenue, margin and profit measures.
  • Sponsors alongside the Insights & Analytics team, a robust consumer inspired front-end innovation process, including the identification of macro and micro consumer and category trends, strong concept ideation, effective and agile testing and a learning approach.
  • Champions the 5 GPN Innovation Pillars, with a particular focus on “Sustainability” and “Disruptive” pillar leadership and champions front end funnel management and (with the exception of Reporting) moves away after Inception into Stage Gate.
    1. Sustainability: Leads the consumer agenda for packaging sustainability effort within GPN and also provides leadership within the wider Glanbia businesses as part of Project Sustain. This role needs to coordinate closely with the Sr. Director Global Sustainability on this high priority area.
    2. Disruptive: Leads the effort of disruptive breakthrough innovation delivery across GPN by identifying through consumer research, areas of future opportunity (incl. new technologies).
    3. Existing Categories: Leads the co-ordination of effort and drives connectivity across the Regional Innovation and Insights & Analytics teams, in identifying high potential areas of white space innovation concepts across geographies and consumer motivations.
    4. Better Than Ever: Fuels the R&D team with relevant consumer insights to prioritize and define areas of opportunity across improvements/renovations to existing propositions and drives connectivity across the Regions.
    5. In Flight: Ensures visibility through reporting and cross-functional forums of cross-geography innovation concepts and examples, ensuring a culture of “stealing with pride” within GPN.
  • Leads the internal GPN Innovation community in a collaborative way and also coordinates specific points of engagement, including the bi-annual Innovation Showcases & regular Innovation Forums, enabling visibility of consolidated Innovation Pipelines, sharing of Best Practice and developing the GPN Innovation agenda.
  • Leads regular reporting on Innovation process and performance across GPN brands and businesses, ensuring a consistent and analytical approach across Regions.
  • Responsible for ELT visibility of Innovation performance including stage gate Zero initiatives.
  • This includes coordination of formal inception meetings with Regional representation that serve to keep the ELT up to date with innovations that are being considered for the innovation pipeline.

  • Provides Brand Strategy support to Regional Presidents (where required) for identified projects, such as rebrands and brand portfolio geographic expansions, especially in International Markets.
  • Management and development of the Global Innovation & Sustainability Manager and the Global Innovation Project Manager, both based in IL.
  • Supports International Region product development initiatives (Innovation, Renovation, Value Engineering) and works closely with locally-based cross-functional teams.



  • Minimum 7 years in a management position, leading innovation in a global organization.
  • Bachelors/University degree.
  • Experience of leading breakthrough innovation and a proven ability to deliver.
  • A real passion for brands and innovation and a natural curiosity for new ideas and solutions to problems.
  • A strong collaborator and able to inspire teams with a clear vision.
  • Strong analytical skills and an advanced level of drawing insights and spotting trends.
  • Strategic thinker, highly focused and a clear decision maker.
  • Commercial orientation and experience of compiling and evaluating against business cases.
  • Strong project management skills and ability to manage multiple innovation projects.

At Glanbia, we celebrate diversity, because we know that our individual strengths make us stronger together. We welcome and encourage interest from a wide variety of candidates, and we will give your application consideration, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender perception or identity, national origin, age, marital status, protected veteran status, or disability status. 


At Glanbia our culture will celebrate individuality, knowing that together we are more.

Nearest Major Market: Chicago