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Job Details


Head of R&D - Nutrition, North America

Office and Administrative Support


Full Time

On Site


Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, United States

Background & Purpose of the Job

North America Nutrition is one of the largest BUs in Unilever, delivered record growth of 35% over the last 4 years and was recognized externally as #1 by the Access to Nutrition Initiative in the US. It has two iconic brands – Hellmann’s, a billion-dollar euro brand in North America and Knorr, Unilever’s second biggest brand on its way to become a billion Euro business in North America by serving the Many Americas and Canadians with delicious and accessible Boldly Healthier foods.

The BU strategy is to be a World Class Force for Good in Foods with Consistent 4G performance and an industry-leading Positive Nutrition and Net Zero agenda. This ambition can only be achieved through superior products and technology, impactful innovation, fuel for growth, and future-fit talent.

The BU embodies the design principles of Compass – end-to-end, agile, and accountable mindset. Every leader is accountable to lead, has a voice at the table, and plays a role that goes well beyond their function responsibility. The Head of R&D for the BU plays a pivotal role in the BU leadership team by providing thought-leadership, steering, and delivering critical parts of the strategy including growing the core through product superiority and top dish, building the categories of tomorrow and doubling the impact of innovation, generating fuel for growth, leading the boldly healthier agenda, and building a culture where We are all Chefs – customer obsessed, hungry for growth, and future-fit.

Who You Are & What You’ll Do

  • Deliver ambition of 100% core superiority and core volume growth through consumer and customer-facing claims, enabled by superior technology, and always-on recipes that inspire, convert, and drive consumption.
  • Steer development and delivery of a technology-enabled, consumer, customer and category-centric innovation funnel that delivers 5% USG p.a. through 2024-2027 with 50% coming from Core and 50% from Future Core and More. Drive close collaboration with GDC, S&T, BU and Global stakeholders with a One Team, One Dream mindset and ways of working
  • Steer the partnership with UI R&D to serve the Many Americas with a portfolio of products
  • Co-chair the BU Nutrition Advocacy Board. Steer the strategic priorities and Sponsor the Agile Squads to deliver against the BU Ambitious Boldly Healthier Commitments and OKRs.
  • Drive the delivery of less or better plastics, 50% material waste reduction, radical material simplification and resilience, and “plantification” of the portfolio in partnership with the BU, METs, and Global Capability teams.
  • Drive the digital transformation across Nutrition (and Ice Cream) including pioneering and landing End-to-end Product Data Management and CARA
  • Deliver a 3-year Holistic Product Logic roadmaps and in-year Holistic Product Logic targets.
  • Drive improvement in People Experience including Career Development and Operation Effectiveness in partnership with the BU and North America R&D leadership.
  • Build One Tech Team in the BU by accelerating talent exchanges, joint R&D and Supply Chain collaboration.
  • Develop future R&D leaders and succession planning for key roles by proactively driving including training, future-fit plans/ career planning, secondments, resource committees.
  • Active role in Global Foods RDLT, influencing, shaping, and delivering the Nutrition R&D Strategy, priorities and OKRs.
  • Ensure that R&D the design organization and talent are future-fit, aligned, and deployed to deliver the World Class Force for Good Strategy.
  • Ensure the compliance of the projects to the Unilever Code of Business Principles and all SHE and QA policies, including the support of product claims, risk management and environmental awareness & legislation.
  • Identify and explore external partnership opportunities within the North America Technology Ecosystem to deliver the Nutrition Boldly Healthier Agenda. Steer the external advocacy priorities in partnership with Brand, RA, N&H, and Legal.
  • Support and ensure that Nutrition North America delivers on its commitments to the Pepsi-Lipton JV. Sponsor Unilever talent currently in the JV to enable rotations and make sure that there are included in right talent forum.
  • The successful candidate will also be considered as potential Head of R&D site Englewood Cliffs

Key Interfaces

  • Nutrition BU LT – Heads of Marketing, CS&P, SC, Procurement, Legal, Dressings and Scratch Cooking GMs
  • Dressings and Scratch Cooking Investor Boards
  • Nutrition BU Advocacy Board
  • VP R&D Foods
  • Foods RDLT
  • Global Capability Leads CTI, RA, Packaging, N&H

You’re a born leader: You demonstrate strong leadership skills as you interact with cross-functional teams and partners.

You’re a storyteller: You develop integrated marketing plans and bring projects to life in the most engaging and relevant way.

You’re a strong communicator: You have strong verbal and written communications skills with extreme attention to detail.

You’re a life-long learner: You are keen to test, explore, experiment, iterate, fail and succeed, and then share those learnings with others.

You’re resilient and influential: You thrive on challenge, bringing colleagues along on the journey.

You execute flawlessly, track & optimize: You work closely with the team to ensure consistent and flawless execution of your plans.

You love to win, and have fun doing it: You demonstrate a strong growth and competitive mindset, along with willingness to “roll up sleeves”.

Critical Success Factors & Leadership

  • Accountable – plays to win and takes accountability for outcomes, brings in a positive energy - can-do mentality, make it happen
  • Human – consumer and customer-obsession, adaptability, collaboration, shows humility and respect for others and personal mastery under pressure. Inclusive leadership and end-to-end thinking – brings together multiple stakeholders across North America, BU, and BG.
  • Purposeful – has the confidence and the business acumen to steer and hold accountable cross-functional leaders to do the right thing for people and planet. Navigates ambiguity and makes progress under uncertainty.
  • Excellent business acumen, strategic thinking and influencing.
  • Good understanding of the Foods categories and key players internally and externally.

What You’ll Need To Succeed

  • Degree in Food Science, Engineering or related field. 5+ experience in foods or beverages.
  • A strong track record of high performance, leading R&D in highly interdependent, end-to-end cross-functional leadership teams
  • Proven track record of talent management and development. 5+ years of experience leading other R&D leaders and large, highly engaged R&D teams
  • Strong understanding of Innovation process and portfolio management - Innoflex, product / process / packaging design and principles, claims creation, selling stories and demos, protecting competitive advantage, and deriving value from Intellectual Property
  • Discover / Design / Deploy role experience desirable
  • Proven track record in establishing contacts within Unilever and external networking

What We Can Offer You

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Pay: The pay range for this position is $200,600 to $401,200. Unilever takes into consideration a wide range of factors that are utilized in making compensation decisions including, but not limited to, skill sets, experience and training, licensure and certifications, qualifications and education, and other business and organizational needs.

Bonus: This position is bonus eligible.

Long-Term Incentive (LTI): This position is LTI eligible.

Benefits: Unilever employees are eligible to participate in our benefits plan. Should the employee choose to participate, they can choose from a range of benefits to include, but is not limited to, health insurance (including prescription drug, dental, and vision coverage), retirement savings benefits, life insurance and disability benefits, parental leave, sick leave, paid vacation and holidays, as well as access to numerous voluntary benefits. Any coverages for health insurance and retirement benefits will be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable plans and associated governing plan documents


Unilever is an organization committed to diversity and inclusion to drive our business results and create a better future every day for our diverse employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. For more information, please see[Register to View] target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Equal Employment Opportunity Postersopens in a new window

Employment is subject to verification of pre-screening tests, which may include drug screening, background check, credit check and DMV check.

If you are an individual with a disability in need of assistance at any time during our recruitment process, please contact us at [Register to View] target="_blank" [Register to View] >opens in a new window. Please note: This email is reserved for individuals with disabilities in need of assistance and is not a means of inquiry about positions or application statuses.