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Operations Team Leader

Technical Operations | Santa Monica, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Kite Pharma is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies with a goal of providing rapid, long-term durable response and eliminating the burden of chronic care. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) engineered cell therapies designed to empower the immune system's ability to recognize and kill tumors. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite, please visit Sign up to follow @KitePharma on Twitter at


The Operations Team Leader (OTL) will lead a multi-disciplinary Technical Operations Team through pre-commercialization and life cycle management activities and is responsible for developing and executing the specific Technical Operations program associated with the overall Product strategy. The OTL will represent Technical Operations as a key member on the overall Product Program Team, and collaborate cross-functionally with other Program Team members. The OTL provides an in-depth understanding of drug development processes and ensures all aspects of Operations are carefully considered cross-functionally as part of the program commercialization strategy. Using program management tools, the OTL will perform planning, execution, monitoring and reporting, and be responsible for maintaining alignment with the Program Team on Operations timelines and deliverables.  The OTL reports out regularly to the Technical Operations Leadership Team on status of Operations team goals, deliverables, and timelines and proactively escalates issues with action plans. As this position is a key interface with internal and external stakeholders and senior leadership, strong communication skills are essential.


Operations Team Leader - Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead the Operations Team through pre commercialization and life cycle management activities
  • Represent Technical Operations at the Program Team and collaborate cross-functionally with other Program Team members
  • Act as an advocate for the product program and assist with achieving overall goals
  • Ensure alignment of Program Team on Operations timelines and deliverables
  • Ensure Operations functional management and Technical Operations Leadership Team (TOLT) are informed of Operations team goals, deliverables, timelines and issues/action plans
  • Develop and implement Operations strategy for the program
  • Actively participate in, and facilitate decision making
  • Own and execute Technical Operations governance gate reviews


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, ideally with a focus in science, operations, or engineering.
  • Ideal candidates will have an MS, or PhD in a relevant discipline or equivalent business experience.
  • 7-10 years of related biotechnology/pharmaceutical professional experience., with a minimum of 4 years of managerial experience directly managing people and/or leadership experience leading teams, projects, programs or directing the allocation of resources


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in Science or Engineering.
  • 12+ years of experience in the biotechnology/ pharmaceutical industry including leadership roles (e. g., team leadership or functional leadership roles) in key Operations functions (e. g., Process Development, Manufacturing, Quality).
  • Additional diverse assignments in Operations support (Program Management, Planning, Compliance, Engineering, etc.) and ex-Ops functions (Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Development, etc.).
  • Proficient with pharmaceutical product commercialization and life cycle management
  • Ability to recognize strategic implications of complex product development activities and effectively manage them cross-functionally
  • Ability to collect, digest and communicate information through relevant business analyses to influence decision-making
  • Ability to communicate vertically and horizontally through multiple channels, leverage contact network to motivate diverse teams, and enable cross-functional collaboration
  • Advanced management skills, including the ability to identify and execute strategic initiatives, manage multiple projects, prioritize project resources, and assess project effectiveness and efficiency
  • Ability to manage in a matrix environment and managing a matrix team structure to ensure team success
  • Proven functional or team leadership skills and proven management by influence
  • Excellent presentation skills to different audiences, including to senior management
  • Inspires trust and respect.


Kite Pharma is an equal opportunity employer based in Santa Monica, CA. Kite Pharma offers the opportunity to be part of a successful, fast growing company in a cross functional and collaborative environment.       

To learn more about us, please visit our website at

No phone calls please and no agencies or recruiters.