VP of Legumes, R&D

Lincoln, Canterbury

Reference Number: 8735SIaa

VP of Legumes, R&D

Lincoln, Canterbury

  • Influence and drive global R&D
  • Innovate and disrupt from within
  • Contribute to a sustainable future
  • Highly competitive salary


About the Company:

DLF is a global leader in the production of grass, turf and specialty seed for agricultural, commercial and consumer applications worldwide.  Owned by a cooperative of Danish grass seed farmers and headquartered in Denmark, DLF has revenues of NZD$1.8B annually and employs more than 2,000 people in its 22 operations across the globe.  Leveraging its devotion to innovation and environmental sustainability, DLF is intent on its continued, aggressive growth through both product suite expansion and acquisitive strategies.

DLF acquired PGG Wrightson Seeds in 2019.

About The Role: 

The global R&D function is future-orientated, leading value creation for the entire DLF Group by identifying and delivering disruptive and/or innovative products adjacent to ensuring a robust product development pipeline that continues to deliver on the business needs.

Based at the Kimihia Research site in Lincoln, the role reports directly to the Executive Vice President / Chief Scientific Officer (EVP/CSO), DLF, in Denmark.

R&D delivers tailored proprietary products to the four strategic business units (SBUs) and regional businesses.  R&D employees and activities are located where it is best for development of products.  The four VPs report directly to the EVP/CSO and each lead either Forage Grasses, Legumes & Herbs, Turf or Research.  They form the R&D Executive Leadership Team and take joint responsibility for R&D success across all regions. 

In addition to the strategic and global leadership of Legume & Herb breeding and product delivery, the VP of Legumes is also responsible for managing tactical execution and operational oversight of all R&D activities located in the Oceania SBU.

The VP of Legumes R&D has 3-5 direct reports and will be expected to travel internationally up to six times a year.

Skills & Experience: 

As the ideal candidate, you will be familiar with leading across locations.  You will be committed to getting on the ground and directly engaging in-person with remote teams and will be able to build trust and confidence with your team despite the distances.

Highly inquisitive and innovative by nature, you will be ready to challenge the status quo, and if needed design from scratch to achieve an alternative outcome. Comfortable working with change, you will create robust structure and processes where needed, focusing on both innovation and protection of business as usual. Your diverse world view and ability to learn from your experiences will enable you to comfortably spearhead innovation from within.

An effective leader, you will be experienced in building, motivating, and developing high-performing teams with a track record of attracting and leading top talent.

In addition, you will have experience in:

  • Academics and Research: Graduate degree (preferably PhD) in plant breeding, genetics, physiology and/or statistics, with at least 10 years’ practical experience in forage-related research.  Direct experience in identifying and developing new traits and bringing new products to market.
  • Strategic Planning and Project Management: Track record of designing effective research programs – development of the strategic vision and budgets at a regional level as a minimum.  Skilled in terms of prioritizing, decision-making, and execution.
  • Program Development and Innovation: Ability to evolve research programs, effectively challenge the “status quo”, and lead change processes through the implementation of modern approaches to increase impact and improve competitiveness.
  • Commercial Acumen: Proven track record of successfully implementing and bringing solutions to the market through close collaboration with the product management and sales teams.  Ability to identify new forage products and assist in commercialization to the market.
  • Global Experience: Experience navigating in global setups, leading teams spread across geographies and time zones.  Has ideally worked in multiple geographies.


The global values are:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Global Synergies
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Empowerment