Operations Director - Definigen

Operations Director

Job Title: Operations Director
Job Level: Senior Leadership
Reports To: CEO

DefiniGEN are an exciting, high growth Cambridge UK Biotechnology Company who aim to become a market leader in the provision of stem cell products and CRISPR gene-editing services to the life science and pharma sectors. We are currently looking to recruit a talented Operations Director to develop the business culture and operational capacity of the business. The successful applicant will join the Executive Team contributing to and benefiting from the success of a dynamic Cambridge life science company.


An experienced member of the senior leadership team who uses their knowledge, expertise and influence to design and deliver a comprehensive strategy and create a positive culture for effective business operations.

Duties are centred on leading managerial staff and driving continual improvement towards operational excellence. Leadership duties include overseeing the strategic implementation of Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety (QEHS) Management Systems within a life science laboratory environment. The specific life science research applications the business operates in are CRISPR gene-editing and stem cell-derived human cell production.  

The primary aim of this role is to set the operations strategy, champion organisational health and effectiveness while building a positive culture for the business, required for the successful and timely delivery of a catalogue of cell products and custom projects to our global clients. The candidate should be change agile, comfortable in leading and adapting the business dynamically according to market opportunities.

  1. Create and drive a strategy for operational excellence and champion processes to ensure operational efficiencies and effectiveness at organizational level.
  2. Lead and co-ordinate a team of managers supervising employees working on all aspects of Contract Service Delivery, Production, Quality Control, Logistics and Supply Chain operations.
  3. Formulate the operations strategy, objectives and priorities on an annual basis, commensurate with commercial requirements and priorities and be able to communicate these with clarity to all employees in the Operations team.
  4. Management of client projects to optimize on-time delivery.
  5. Set the operations budget, oversee cost centre controls and monthly forecast updates, tracking and auditing cost of goods, and ensuring profit margin assessment.
  6. Design the organization’s operational risk management and mitigation strategy.
  7. Contribute actively, with other leadership team members, to communicate consistently the strategic anchors, core values and the company goals throughout the business and lead from the front in setting a style of team commitment.
  8. Coordinate with other leadership team members, to assist the design and development of the commercial portfolio of business offerings, including new product concepts and prototype service provision.
  9. Champion a culture of continual improvement (LEAN, 5S, Kanban, Kaizen RCA, VSM) to agreed standards and practises.
  10. Proactively identify actual and potential resource gaps required to realise company strategy.
  11. Recruit and develop the right talent and build cohesive, functional management teams.
  12. Provide direction on the business risk and product quality appetite for balanced QEHS Systems.

(E) = Essential / (D) = Desirable
  • Extensive experience in a team managerial role (E) in life science sector.
  • Proven track record in leadership role (E), ideally in the gene-editing/stem cell sectors (D).
  • Proven Track record of informed decision taking in line with organizational strategic anchors and core values (E).
  • Proven track record in building and growing high performing operations teams in life science companies (E).
  • Successful experience of leading continuous improvement measures and assessments (D).
  • Successful track record of building QEHS systems in line with the risk and quality appetite for the business (E).
  • Experienced in addressing difficult personnel issues and promoting open and honest debate (D).
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills (E).
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills (E).
  • Exceptional acumen in financial management, risk and cost/benefit analysis (D).

  • Degree level in a relevant scientific/process/engineering discipline (E).
  • Master in Business Administration (MBA) or equivalent experience/training (D).
  • LEAN Management Level 2 Certificate (D).
  • GLP/GMP Training certifications (D).
  • NEBOSH National Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (D).
  • QESH Management System / ISO9001 / PDCA Training (D).


If you are interested in applying for the position, please submit your CV and a cover letter to careers@definigen.com


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