Vice President R&D

McCain - Kortrijk

A key role within Mc Cain’s global R&D organization

A key role within Mc Cain’s global R&D organization

The VP R&D is responsible for development teams across multiple categories. The VP R&D ensures that development activities are aligned with Global and Regional Strategic objectives, and develops and implements the strategy across product platforms.

As Vice President R&D you will:

  • Influence and inform strategy development, in conjunction with marketing and sales, to create a balanced portfolio of new products combined with innovation plans that are executed through excellent leadership of the stage gate process, delivering sustainable profitable growth.

  • Mentor, coach, develop and lead, enabling high performance of your team; champion development of yourself and team ensuring a strong talent pipeline of leaders.

  • Target and develop relationships with key suppliers, leveraging the combination of skills and knowledge to deliver innovative, competitive and market-leading products.

  • Create effective cross-functional collaborations with a single focus on successful product outcomes in the market.

  • Play a strategic role in the financial management of R&D and be accountable for financial results in the region.

  • Participate in the development of regional business strategies and proactively engage across the organization in strategic outcomes.

  • Maintain a deep understanding of competitor products, performance and capabilities combined with excellent consumer understanding to support internal development strategies.

  • Lead the development teams ensuring employee safety and regulatory compliance.

You have:

  • A Master’s degree in Food Science, Food Chemistry or applicable technical field (bioengineer, ...)

  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in leadership roles with experience in creating and implementing R&D strategies and delivering successful outcomes.

  • Minimum 15 years of food industry experience with a track record of delivery.

  • Experience in leading multi-site teams and building successful relationships/teams across departments and functions.

  • Leadership qualities that inspire team development and growth.

  • Strong analytical and budgeting skills combined with excellent interpersonal skills.

  • The ability to build strong relationships across the organization. You will be building and developing effective teams, positively engaging cultural differences with agility and flexibility and managing business ambiguity.

  • Exposure to and evidence of effective collaboration with various business environments including manufacturing, marketing, sales and procurement at a national level.

  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with particular emphasis on the ability to influence outcomes. A successful negotiator is required in this role to influence stakeholder outcomes.

  • Insight into financial analysis, strategic business planning, project management and forecasting/analysis skills

  • An entrepreneurial mindset demonstrated by a commitment to have cutting-edge innovation practices which are best practice and drive business outcomes.

  • You are fluent in English and French, knowledge of Dutch is an asset.

  • Ability to travel – c 25-40% of time (GB, Ireland, CE & MENA) plus further international travel where necessary).

  • The possibility of working from the site in Villeneuve d’Ascq (FR), 30 kms from the Belgian border..

What McCain has to offer you:

  • A challenging venture within an international company that encourages initiative and where you’ll have great responsibility. Together with your team you will ensure the future growth of McCain.

  • An opportunity to grow your career with a global company and pursue other global career opportunities.

  • A permanent contract with a competitive gross salary (dependent on your experience) with bonus plan and a nice package of fringe benefits.

We look forward to hearing from you:


We are working in collaboration with Mercuri Urval, specialists in Executive Search, Professional Recruitment and Talent Advisory. 


Please send your CV and cover letter through ( BE-05174).

For additional information please contact Luc  Maes, tel: +32 3 281 15 50

About the company

McCain foods was found in 1957 in Canada and this family company quickly became the world's largest manufacturer of frozen French fries and potato specialties in the Canadian market. The business has grown significantly over the years, from 30 employees and global sales of CDN$150,000,to now employing more than 20,000 people with global sales in excess of CDN$9 billion. They operate across six continents with more than 50 factories, working with farmers around the world and use over 6.5 million tons of potatoes every year.