Vice President of Innovation & Quality

Olam Americas, Inc   •  

Fresno, CA

Industry: Food & Beverages


15+ years

Posted 100 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Job Description


The Vice President of Innovation & Quality reports directly to the Tomato Business Unit Vice President/General Manager and works as a close business partner. This position leads all aspects of Innovation Process Management, Quality Assurance, Food Safety, Regulatory Affairs, Technical Services. The position also plays an important role in the strategic planning, customer relationships & operational excellence. The Vice President of Innovation & Quality effectively engages & influences superiors, peers and subordinates.

The Vice President of Innovation & Quality is the technical go-to person for the business. The role demands passion for technical details, quest for knowledge and exceptional communication skills. The position needs to able to attract, develop and retain a high performing team of scientists, technologists, engineers using effective metrics.


A. Innovation & Commercialization

  • Innovation Process management and commercialization process for new products in industrial and retail product range for the tomato business unit. Responsible for the Innovation Index Metric.
  • Customer interfacing from idea generation, capability presentations & develop new platforms for the business, based on potential business opportunities.
  • Customer specification management, information capture to enable pack planning for the processing season. Create, specify and administration of product "decks" for operations, finance & supply chain.
  • Product formulation development, ingredient specification and vendor/supplier information management to meet supply chain program.
  • Product costing reviews and ensure compliance between customer specification, SAP costing & manufacturing specifications.
  • Interfacing with operation team for process management & process change specification set up, to enable continuous operation during processing season.
  • Interfacing with agricultural team to ensure varieties that are suitable for a specific product attributes and manufacturing conditions to enable meet the customer specification.
  • Interfacing with procurement & materials team to ensure ingredients, packaging materials are meeting specification and not leading to issues during manufacturing.
  • Interface with Sales, Operations, PLM, Planning, Information Technology teams to develop information systems which will enhance team efficiency and develop insights valuable to the business.

B. Food Safety, Quality Assurance, Certifications, Regulatory Affairs, Technical Services

  • Ensure Food Safety across the business using HACCP principles, Preventive controls, Supply Chain program, Sanitation controls, Foreign material control programs, and training supervisory staff and front line.
  • Enable and test traceability & mock recall plan and responsible for the crisis management plan.
  • Quality management by deploying good laboratory practices, develop & deploy analytical methods enable practical and accurate measurements. Control of food safety incidents & product dispositions.
  • Ensure data integrity of all product data to enable evaluation, disposition and allocation to contracts.
  • Understanding and providing leadership for disposition of In-Quality, Blocked and Restricted inventory.
  • Documentation control and review on thermal process controls, pH controls and all other critical control points in the process (aseptic processes, glass, plastic and canned packaged products).
  • Effective control of aseptic conditions in aseptic tomato paste & diced tomatoes using microbiological monitoring & control during fresh pack production.
  • Responsible for key metrics such as First Time Quality (FTQ) for the business.
  • Interfacing with key certification bodies for BRC, Organic, JAS, Halal, Kosher, Non-GMO and Gluten free certification. Ensuring that programs and effectively deployed, undertake audits, corrective and preventive actions and obtain certifications for the Business Unit.
  • Effective interface with regulatory agencies such as FDA when required.
  • Knowledge management, develop technical documents based on regulatory changes & enable effective technical services such as technical documentation to customers with metrics.
  • Manage customer complaints through effective response, develop and implement corrective & preventive action, analyze data and provide quarterly trend analysis to the business.
  • Develop metrics, communicate and deploy learning process from customer complaints with operations.
  • Interfacing with customers providing data on analytical methods, trouble shooting and providing information to enable manage customer relationships.

C. Operational Management, Approvals & Decisions

  • Approval of quotes and contracts for the business, review of specifications to enable quote, contract management process.
  • Key role in the operations management during processing season for trouble shooting, problem solving, enabling process modifications based on raw material & product data.
  • Management & approval of inventory dispositions for salvage inventory, and inventory adjustments for Finished goods, ingredients, raw materials.
  • Management of IQ budget including supplies, lab consumables, external laboratory contracts, sample shipping expenses, T&E for IQ team.

D. People Management & Training

  • Coaches, develops and evaluates team consisting of Director, QA Managers, Scientists, Engineers & Technologists. Develop & execute training programs.
  • Meets periodically with counterparts in cross-functional groups across Business Unit's.
  • Provide continuous feedback to the team, ensuring team work & conflict management when necessary.


  • Technical degree in Food Engineering, Food Technology or related field, tomato processing experience desirable, high problem-solving capability.
  • Master's Degree preferred, 15+ years' experience in technical position with advancing roles
  • Food processing, CPG experience highly desirable, International experience is desirable
  • Senior Director/VP of R&D /Quality experience for companies or division of at least $ 100 M
  • Superior interpersonal skills -- must be an excellent verbal and written communicator capable of presenting complex technical issues to both peers and non-experts in a clear and effective manner.
  • Very high energy level.
  • Must exhibit unwavering integrity.
  • Exposure to SAP or similar ERP systems desirable
  • Ability to develop and manage high caliber staff is necessary
  • Travel Required

Position Type Regular