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Director, Product Team Lead

United States - California - Santa MonicaBusiness Development/Corporate DevelopmentRegular

Job Description

The Director, Product Team Lead (PTL) reports to the Head of Program Management and leads an enterprise cross-functional team to advance an asset(s) through clinical and technical development; regulatory submission; manufacturing; and commercialization. The PTL serves to integrate cross-functional input, synthesize team recommendations, and direct the product through corporate governance, while maintaining adherence to timelines and budget. The PTL also maintains consistent, multi-level communication with functional leaders across research, development, technical operations (manufacturing, process development, supply chain, quality), commercial and others including senior leadership.

Kite is looking for a highly experienced candidate with a demonstrated track record of developing and delivering integrated product strategy to maximize asset value of inline / pipeline product(s) and delivering results through effective team leadership, collaboration and influence in a highly matrixed environment. The successful candidate will have an exceptional ability to deeply understand the science, competitive landscape and commercial / business implications, as well as the complex, cross-functional considerations critical to development and commercialization of innovative therapies. This role requires a leader who has the ability to lead through influence and demonstrates executive presence, emotional intelligence and strong verbal and written communication skills.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead multidisciplinary enterprise Product Team or Subteams by providing strategic leadership and program management support to drive development and execution of internal and partnered assets. Lead Product Team or Subteam meetings and ensures cross-functional Product Team Members are working in alignment on strategic and operational topics
  • Partner with cross-functional leaders to develop comprehensive product development and lifecycle management plans that optimize value, time, resources, risk, and alignment with business objectives. Specific responsibilities include:
    • Develop vision and strategy for the asset and a plan to achieve potential
    • Identify and manage critical path activities and resources
    • Identify and manage interdependencies and hand-offs
    • Identify and proactively mitigate roadblocks
    • Lead contingency planning and identify and document risks, likelihoods, severities, and key mitigations
    • Capture and communicate progress; escalate potential delays with proposed solutions
  • Drive progression of products through the cell therapy operating model stage gates and ensure that:
    • Product Teams have adequate resources and technical expertise to meet strategic objectives
    • Issues are raised, discussed, and resolved in a timely manner
    • Product Teams receive leadership input & decisions in a timely manner
    • Product Teams adhere to agreed-upon scope, timelines, resources, and budget
  • Ensure that strategy is reflected in the operation through aligned product strategy, priorities, timelines, resources, risk mitigation, budget and deliverables
  • Partner with Global Program Lead and key stakeholders to align product strategy with broader disease area program strategy and Kite corporate strategy
  • Create a high-performance team culture within the Product Team through collaboration and coaching of cross-functional team members. Contribute to the development of cross-functional team members, freely sharing expertise and identifying opportunities for team members to grow as leaders
  • Present product updates, strategic issues, options, and recommendations to the Program & Portfolio Committee on behalf of Product Team. Accountable for clear and timely communication about the product throughout the enterprise
  • Ensure rigorous adherence to quality and compliance


  • Advanced degree (i.e. MD, PharmD, PhD) and 8+ years’ relevant experience OR
  • Masters’ Degree and 10+ years’ relevant experience OR
  • Bachelors’ Degree and 12+ years’ relevant experience OR
  • High School Degree and 16+ years’ relevant experience
  • Relevant experience includes program/product management, or management consulting experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Prior experience in cellular therapy, and/or oncology therapeutics preferred.
  • Drug development (early phase non-clinical and/or clinical development) and/or significant commercial experience including product launches in oncology.
  • Outstanding strategic planning and analytical skills with the ability to synthesize findings and articulate implications from multiple sources of information to formulate strong recommendations and uncover market opportunities
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of oncology therapeutic area with experience in diverse biological mechanisms
  • Broad understanding of the multidisciplinary functions contributing to effective and efficient oncology drug development.
  • Strong leadership skills from leading cross-functional teams in a matrix organization, with highly collaborative instincts and track record of resolving conflicts within the team
  • Demonstrated success in influencing key stakeholders working collaboratively in a cross-functional environment through excellent communication (written and verbal) skills, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, high EQ, and persuasion. Able to build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with clinical scientists, scientists, technical operations experts, regulatory and commercial colleagues at all levels of the organization
  • High learning agility and high degree of organizational awareness and understanding of change leadership and leading innovation in an ambiguous and rapidly evolving environment
  • Ability to assimilate data, recognize key variables, analyze complex situations and make quality judgements.