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Global Director of Operational Excellence


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Global Director of Operational Excellence



At Cambrex, it’s our people that set us apart. We work locally and have an impact globally. We are committed to attracting, nurturing, and retaining a passionate and talented team of experts in our fast paced and growing company. You will be valued and recognized. We offer an exceptional benefits package including medical, dental, vision, Life, LTD, generous vacation in your first year, sick time, and retirement savings!


Cambrex is the small molecule company that provides drug substance, drug product and analytical services across the entire drug lifecycle. Known for our scientific and manufacturing excellence and customer focus, we offer a range of career opportunities across our global network of locations. As a team, we share one goal – to improve the quality of life for our customers’ patients across the world.


Reporting to Chief Transformation Officer, the Global Director of Operational Excellence will support all Cambrex sites in their journey towards excellence and ensure steady progress with their improvement initiatives and level of lean maturity. The role will be responsible for the development and roll-out of the global Operational Excellence Program and for regular coaching and mentoring of the employees to support lean behaviors and leadership. This role will be based in either our Iowa, NJ Sites or US Northeast, but will have a global scope, supporting Operation Excellence activities across all geographies and business lines.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for owning and driving process and operational improvement, and a track record of thinking outside the box to deliver innovations and solve problems on behalf of customers.




  • Supporting the further development and implementation of an Operational Excellence Program at Cambrex
  • Creating a common/standard library of systems, tools and visual factory creating a single OE look and feel in every business unit.
  • Driving and improving performance by helping sites leverage lean tools, consulting skills, and change management process in the implementation of lean initiatives within manufacturing plants and its associated value streams.
  • Supporting Business Unit and site management in driving a culture of high performance and continuous improvement.
  • Assisting in the development of Lean Experts, Continuous Improvement Specialists, Supervisors, Operators and Managers.
  • Creating long term activity roadmaps and lean transformation projects for the business including Kaizen and step change projects.


Education, Experience, and Other Qualifications


  • Formal Lean/CI Black Belt certification (capable of training and certifying employees to green and blackbelt level) Six Sigma certification
  • Scientific or Engineering Bachelor’s degree required
  • 10 + years’ experience in a Pharmaceutical manufacturing environment
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in Operations / Operational Excellence roles applying “lean” principles
  • Solid business acumen with substantial leadership experience
  • Demonstrated experience in solving complex problems in manufacturing and business processes. Proven innovation & opportunity identification translated to tangible initiatives and successful value capture
  • Exceptional skills in leadership, coaching, analytical problem solving and strong business acumen
  • Superior written and verbal communication, presentation and interpersonal skills
  • Tactical experience in Agile and its application to Lean Systems deployment
  • Data analytics experience including development of key system KPIs and KBIs and employment of data mining processes and procedures
  • Demonstrated proficiency in managing portfolio of projects and in leading change through others to achieve operational excellence.
  • Track record of success in the rigorous planning, execution and timely delivery of enterprise level projects and programs
  • Builds relationships, able to negotiate & influence, and manage change in a global matrix environment
  • Demonstrated proficiency and passion for lean methodology, tools and manufacturing process improvement
  • Up to 30% travel (domestic and International)

#1 small molecule API Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) in the USA

Double digit sales growth each of the last 5 years

Recent $75 million expansion of our large-scale API facility

Winner of 30 CMO Leadership Awards in 2017

IOWA – Ranked #1 state for best place to live by US News and World Report

Leading Western supplier of generic APIs including ADHD and other controlled substances

Cambrex is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer and will consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status.