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Sr. Director, Product Development (Footwear) 31 views

COVID-19: Allbirds requires all US-based Corporate employees who enter an Allbirds-owned or operated Corporate facility to demonstrate proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of their employment, subject to exemptions for sincerely held religious beliefs, or valid medical reasons.

Who is Allbirds?

At Allbirds, we believe in using business as a force for good. We’re a global footwear and apparel brand with roots in New Zealand and headquarters in San Francisco. Since 2016, we’ve been on a mission to prove that comfort, design, and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. Our commitment to creating better things in a better way is fueled by a belief that the fashion industry needs to focus less on flash and more on thoughtfulness. We're a certified B Corporation, meaning we meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We’re dedicated to making the most sustainable products we can using premium natural materials – designed for life’s everyday adventures. In fact, TIME 100 named us for being one of the most innovative companies. Already calling our first shoe, the Wool Runners, the most comfortable in the world, and there is much more to come.

We take our craft seriously, but not ourselves. As part of the Allbirds family, you can look forward to team lunches, product tests, fun company events, inspiring guest speakers, comfortable shoes, sheep puns, and lots of creative ideas.

What does the job entail?

  • As Senior Director of Footwear Product Development based in San Francisco or Portland, manage all footwear projects and collaborate with the broader Product Team and with our Vietnam Sourcing team to ensure that we are creatively adding to our product offering with items that delight customers, are true to our mission, and lead the industry in delivering comfort and performance via advanced, sustainable materials and fabrication methods.
  • Lead and manage our footwear product development teams and projects from pre-season to launch collaborating with Design, Product Strategy & Merchandising (PS&M) and Supply Chain.
  • Direct and manage project timelines, PD systems, margin targets, sustainability requirements, product quality standards and revenue plans according to annual corporate goals.
  • Act as expert resource within the Product Team on all footwear development including materials, compounds, construction techniques, physical property standards, tooling, manufacturing processes, factory capabilities and partner relationships.
  • Manage Pre-Season work within the Go to Market (GTM) calendar to ensure hand-off readiness to PD of new materials, innovation projects and fabrication methods prior to seasonal product brief kick-offs. 
  • Direct development timelines for standard seasonal cycles as well as suggesting and directing alternatives for non-standard timelines.
  • Oversee the management of product packaging for on time deliveries to factory by collaborating with Product Strategy, Creative Design Team and Supply Chain
  • Oversee PD team documentation for assigned products and their maintenance of all product development documentation within the current file system.
  • Maintain daily communications with Supply Chain to manage product status, material lead times and commercialization scheduling.
  • Provide direction, support, confidence, constructive criticism and camaraderie to the Product Team.
  • Lead the team in doing things better, smarter, and more creatively with a shot of energy and humor at every opportunity.

You will work with Allbirds Asia teams and factories to:

  • Manage PD’s seamless hand-off of Product Development Tech Packs to Allbirds factories, ensuring that footwear products are sampled, tested, completed on time, viable for manufacturing, satisfy design intent and performance targets, and meet costing and sustainability goals.
  • Troubleshoot and offer creative solutions throughout sample development to meet product goals while maintaining a sensitivity to design needs.
  • Oversee the process between development and collaborate with Asia teams through commercialization. Consult with manufacturing to ensure commercialization specs are transferred seamlessly and exactly into production.
  • Work to obtain consistency in technical, development and production methods across all factories.
  • Collaborate with factories on product requirements and standards, including sharing corporate sustainability and Allbirds cultural standards to achieve shared goals.
  • Manage communications with factory development teams and line managers, maintain open communication with sourcing functions, costing, materials, Planning, Product Testing, Quality Managers.
  • Challenge and support innovation in our manufacturing processes in factory
  • Collaborate with Allbirds’ Quality personnel to execute a world-class product testing program to ensure product performance while overseeing requirements and standards for physical tests. Provide direction to the product team based on test results.
  • Understand tooling investment for assigned projects, qualify mold investments, and component pricing.
  • Liaise with footwear technical engineering, including pattern development, mold design, compound and materials composition, costing, and manufacturability analysis to achieve project objectives at a high level of efficiency and accountability.

What kind of person are we looking for?

  • You are a skilled and seasoned footwear developer with deep Footwear PD experience and a desire to create world-class sustainable performance and lifestyle products.
  • A skilled leader both HQ based Product Teams and factory-based development teams with a track record of successful collaboration across multi-national product creation personnel. You are an inspirational communicator and a results-oriented problem solver with a passion for making better things in a better way.

More practical skills need

  • BA/BS in Design or Mechanical Engineering and ten years of footwear development experience, or no BA and at least fifteen years of footwear development with factory manufacturing experience
  • 15+ years of experience in a footwear technical capacity to include product development, commercialization and production
  • Tenacious attention to product creation timelines, stage gates and ability to drive and adapt product development calendars as necessary throughout the PD process.
  • Demonstrated abilities in project management within all phases of the Product Creation Process.
  • Experience with PLM systems, project management tools such as Asana, BOM and costing software
  • Eagerness to jump in at any level of product creation as needed by the team
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Last development & timelines
  • Demonstrated effective oral and written communication skills. Ability to provide clear direction and advice within area of expertise.
  • Proven record of leadership and accomplishment in a multi-national environment.
  • Ability to travel, domestic or international, as required
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, adapt to change. Making quick yet well thought out decisions will be essential in this role
  • Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese cultural knowledge and language are a plus.

What can we offer?

  • Competitive salary + equity
  • Medical/Dental/Vision insurance
  • One Medical Membership
  • Mental Health and Financial Wellness Benefits
  • 401k employer match
  • Hybrid work schedule based in either San Francisco or Portland 
  • Paid parental leave
  • Cell Phone and Wellness Stipend
  • 50% Discount on Allbirds Products
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Employee Stock Purchase Program


Allbirds is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Allbirds policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, marital or veteran status, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member), sexual orientation, pregnancy, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. It also prohibits discrimination based on a perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. All such discrimination is unlawful.


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Company Information
  • Active Jobs 12 Jobs
  • Company Address 57 Hotaling Place San Francisco, CA 94111 United States
  • City San Francisco
  • Location California
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