Director of R&D - Pet Food (Cat Person) at Harry's Inc.
This role can be done remotely, however there may be location constraints based on where Cat Person is registered and able to employ individuals. Please work with your recruiter and your hiring manager to understand any location constraints. We are authorized and able to employ individuals in many, but not all states. If you are not located in or able to work from a state where we are registered or able to employ individuals, you will not be eligible for employment. Please speak with your recruiter to learn more.
What is Cat Person?
Cat Person is a new DTC (direct-to-consumer) brand shaking up the $75B pet industry by bringing respect, love and innovation to a long overlooked and underserved category: cat care. We started Cat Person because we saw a real need: thoughtfully designed food and goods made just for cats and the people who love them.
Launched in March 2020, and born out of Harry’s Labs, the innovation arm of Harry's Inc., Cat Person offers a line of essentials to help cat parents better care for their cats, including food, treats, furniture and toys. A design-forward brand, we consider both the cat’s and the cat person’s needs in everything we make and do. It’s all part of our mission: to make life with cats even more awesome than it already is.
Though small, our vision is grand. We aren’t just here to revolutionize cat care for the millions of cat parents in the US; we’re redefining what it means to be a cat person in culture today. Every role at Cat Person plays a part in redefining cat persons for the modern era.
About the Role
The Director of R&D will be responsible for developing and executing on Cat Person’s consumables portfolio vision, encompassing dry cat food, wet cat food, and cat treats (that’s just to start!). The role will lead technical activities in product development, collaborate with external specialists and co-manufacturers, assuring effective execution of food initiatives. This will require you to collaborate cross-functionally, including but not limited to Supply Chain, Customer Experience, Marketing, and external partners on all aspects of product roll-out. Additionally, you will own the full consumables portfolio product roadmap, including innovation and renovation pipeline for 2022 and beyond!
This is a unique opportunity to join at the early stages and have a significant role in building a company from the ground up and shaping the direction and success of the business. Since the team will be small initially, you must be both a strategic leader and someone that loves to get their hands dirty. This role will report to the VP of Product Development.
Who you are:
- 7+ years of relevant work experience with pet food products (extra points for cat food), with strong experience in formulation and palatability; experience in small animal nutrition (extra points for cat nutrition) and quality assurance is a plus!
- Deep understanding of and direct experience in the end-to-end pet food development process, including: consumer insights, formulation, ingredient functionality, testing, product scale-up, plant testing, and commercialization
- Understanding of food science/industry standards of quality and food safety, and USDA/FDA/AAFCO regulations, with experience in government regulatory requirements for pet food
- Proven project management skills with ability to independently run project work and balance multiple projects/tasks simultaneously
- Demonstrated ability to communicate well and to effectively influence and interact with others to accomplish research goals
- Excellent negotiating skills when working through conflict resolution
- Positive relationship skills, both internally and externally, to achieve best in class positive teamwork
- Exhibit leadership and proactive attitudes in approaching technical solutions to product, business, and market issues
- Comfortable with domestic and international traveling up to 25%
What you will accomplish:
- Define and establish product renovation and innovation roadmap
- Provide technical project management and expertise for products in development
- Work with co-manufacturing partners to optimize current production, test, and commercialize existing and new formulas
- Define commissioning, qualification and verifications protocols for all innovation/renovation projects
- Responsible for resolution of technical and nutritional issues that arise during development, production, operational, and product performance
- Work cross-functionally with multiple departments with all aspects of product roll-out
- Provide critical updates and progress reporting to leadership
About Cat Person
Cat Person is a new brand committed to strengthening the relationship between cats and cat persons by delivering cat care essentials - including food, treats and products - that are specially made for the unique needs of cats, and thoughtfully designed for their people. By putting modern feline lovers at the center of their research, design, and marketing processes, Cat Person is prioritizing the unmet needs of this fragmented, $75 billion pet market and flipping the script on the stereotype about cat owners. The company was founded by a small team of passionate cat people and launched in March 2020. Today, it is part of the Harry's Inc. family of brands.
Cat Person and Harry’s Inc. are committed to bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives. We strive to create an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive, feel a sense of belonging, and do great work together.
Cat Person is an Equal Opportunity Employer, providing equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals. We recruit, hire and promote into all job levels the most qualified applicants without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), parental status, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, transgender status, sexual orientation, marital, family or partnership status, political affiliation or activities, military service, domestic violence victim status, arrest/conviction record, sexual or reproductive health decisions, caregiver status, credit history immigration status, unemployment status, traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles or any other status protected under applicable federal, state and local laws. Cat Person’s commitment to providing equal employment opportunities extends to all aspects of employment, including job assignment, compensation, discipline and access to benefits and training.
We respect the laws enforced by the EEOC and are dedicated to going above and beyond in fostering diversity across our company.