Director Strategic Innovation

Date: Nov 29, 2022

Location: Charlottesville, VA, US, 22911

Company: Klöckner Pentaplast


Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) provides sustainable packaging solutions. We are a global leader in recycled content products and high barrier protective packaging. Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) is a global company with a deep-rooted history, which offers complete protective packaging portfolios of high-quality products, including both rigid films, rigid thermoformed trays, mono film and flexible films, with a reputation for outstanding service.


Interaction, ideas and innovation: the driving force behind our business.

As the market landscape for our customers continues to change and evolve, future thinking has never been more important. It’s why we invest in a creative, collaborative culture and in environments where our research and development (R&D) teams, packaging professionals and multi-discipline experts can work side by side to invent and test tomorrow’s exciting products and solutions, from sustainable medical & blister packaging, to shrink sleeves & labeles.

kp’s excellence is driven by our people

Purpose of the job:

The Director of Strategic Innovation creates, implements and promotes global Innovation strategies in alignment with overall kp business strategies and market requirements for the PHD Business. This is done with an emphasis on technology development and external technology scouting. In particular the role builds on internal synergies within PHD (and KP), and external engagements. The role leads major high impact strategic projects internally as well as with customers with a focus on sustainability 


Key tasks and responsibilities 

•    Develop and lead major strategic projects within PHD
        o   Lead cross functional project related teams to implement aligned additional business opportunities
        o    Focus on value creation and link to CTQ’s
        o    Lead major sustainability initiatives and capability development
•    Identify potential external partners to cooperate and co-develop new technical solutions/ academic partnerships that impact business opportunities 
        o    Run workshops with existing and potential future customers to develop jointly new business opportunities
        o    Build strategic partnerships
        o    Technology scouting and incubation to enhance and accelerate the defined business strategy
•    Define the vision of a highly innovative role, own it, and confidently lead teams internally and externally through influence
        o    Develop Roadmap and work on strategies to insource/ outsource technologies to implement them in the company
        o    Be part of the innovation team and refine the ideas to build them for major impact. Consolidate ideas into a platform based approach for addressing market needs, regulatory changes,  and technology trends
        o    Contributes to strategic planning and owns major work streams
        o    Create value chain relationships and joint development agreements for high impact innovations
•    Know industry and competitors, and industry-relevant trends and research for maximum impact
        o    Actively works with the global innovation team to find optimal solutions for our customers
        o    Work with product line management, sales, legal to identify threats and opportunities related to legal, regulatory, and market changes and propose/lead/ champion solutions
        o    Develop and promote reliable KPIs for Innovation, being able to measure the team success


Management responsibility: 
•    1 direct report
•    Leadership through influence of 5 peers in innovation, 3 peers in PLM , 12 peers in sales and 2 peers in operations as Directors
•    Revenue = $100M p.a. in impact , TAM (Total Available Market Opportunity) = $500M (creation)

Strategic impact: 

•    The jobholder will be involved in strategic impact and design

•    It is entire business area and involves the function of innovation technology, with influence over commercial, sales, and operations

•    Even though the role is strategic, it involves elements of leading/ championing/ operationalizing and scaling

Educational requirements/qualifications and experience:


•    At Least 15 years of Industry Experience
•    Experience in at least two of the following production process: extrusion, calendaring, coating and lamination
•    Experience in at least  two of the key Product area: Pharma packaging, medical device packaging, credit card films, and various durable films like LVT, FF, cooling tower
•    Plastics/ film industry experience 
•    Led large projects externally and internally with multiple stake holders, including creating, justifying, scope, and IP
•    Strong communication skills, self-driven, intercultural experience
•    Has proven leadership experience for direct and indirect teams


•    Bachelors and a Master’s degree in plastics, polymers, materials science, or chemical engineering or related field with experience in process engineering, polymer formulation
        o    Ideally a Ph.D in materials science or chemical engineering with experience in product development and technology internally and external partners. Design thinking from Strategic Concepts to commercial development

Key competencies:


Functional/Technical Skills:    
•    Excellent Leadership Skills
•    Demonstrate creativity in technical problem solving and critical thinking
•    Possess the ability to think strategically from a business perspective and work with abstract concepts and give it structure to create a direction
•    Possess sound decision making capabilities
•    Strong verbal and written communication skills
•    Quick learner and ability to assimilate and contribute
•    Simplify complex topics for executive alignment and action
•    Great MS Office, CRM (Sales force), Data Mining skills for impact
•    Work in a dynamic environment, balancing short and long term

•    Pro-active thinking and action
•    Language proficiency – Fluent English required
•    Clear understanding of value creation / economic profit metrics
•    Strong leadership competencies
•    Strong coaching skills
•    Ability to create and align an organization to a strategy
•    Proven performance in creating strategies that create competitive advantage and build competitive barriers
•    Strong executive presence
•    Ability to lead matrix organization and build buy-in throughout an organization
•    Manage cross functional teams
•    Ability to take complex topics and focus on key messages
•    Expand sphere of influence within a global organization
•    An energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and an appropriate professional image
•    Used both structured stage gate and highly entrepreneurial thinking. Using the right tool when needed  


Scope of Role: 
    • Global PHD    

Nearest Major Market: Charlottesville
Nearest Secondary Market: Virginia