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Director, Business Development

Emeryville, CA, USA | Zymergen Inc

  • Industry:
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    Business Development
    General Management
  • Experience:
    5-7 years
Job Description:
68 people have viewed this job

Zymergen is hiring distinctive individuals to be Directors on our Business Development team. This team’s work is a marriage of business and science, and Directors enjoy speaking both languages. These individuals will develop and manage our large-scale industrial partnerships, be responsible for the overall economics from contracting through execution, and work closely with our technical leaders to deliver against performance targets. Directors bring creativity, perseverance and energy to identify and execute on new opportunities.

Zymergen is a fast-growing company and, as such, the nature of role is likely to change and expand. The interdisciplinary nature of our work means that diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives are essential to our success.


Advanced degree (MS, PhD, or MBA) or significant relevant work experience in life sciences, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, or other areas of interest

Five or more years of experience, showing increasing responsibility, at a top-tier consulting firm or life sciences company, including at least two years as a program manager or project lead

Required skills:

Clear written and oral communication

Client management and relationship building

Analytical problem-solving

Contract negotiations and management

Directors lead cross-functional teams within Zymergen. Directors will communicate and maintain relationships with people of different technical and business backgrounds.Directors can adeptly influence while maintaining good relationships across these partnerships.Directors advocate internally and externally to achieve program goals.Key partners internally include research, development, operations, finance, and legal.External stakeholders include both the client’s technical team and business stakeholders.

Creative problem solving.Directors provide innovative solutions and can structure problem solving individually and in groups. Directors evaluate clients’ business requirements and construct contract terms to meet the clients’ requirements in addition to Zymergen’s commercial and intellectual property goals. Directors evaluate current and prospective business with clients, often in an environment of limited data. The role requires you to triangulate on approaches and sources to evaluate risks and opportunities in these markets.

Directors have strong analytical skills. Directors analyze modelling of current and prospective client economics. Directors use this information to design strategy, evaluate risk, value upside potential, and construct proposal for various contracts.

Program Directors are responsible for the execution of program. This is done in close collaboration with a technical lead.The Director is responsible for setting and tracking work plans and timelines, both with internal and external teams. This requires good organization skills, an ability to prioritize, and an ability to manage complex work streams.

Client Directors are involved in managing relationships with both business and technical clients. This requires good listening skills for use in problem solving as well as persuasion skills to develop solutions that suit both Zymergen and our clients. Directors work directly with our clients’ C-level executives, and must form strong relationships with our clients. Directors will often find creative ways to access potential and current client personnel within their own and Zymergen’s extended network. This role may require frequent domestic and international travel.

Contract Each client program will have a contract that governs Zymergen’s collaboration with the client, including delivery of microbes and achievement of financial outcomes. Directors carefully track adherence to the contract and provide transparency to both Zymergen team members and the client.

Directors are called upon to craft and deliver compelling synthesized documents to business leaders as well as thorough, well-supported documents to technical clients and colleagues. Director’s oral communication should be clear, synthesized, fact based and action oriented.In both written and oral communication, Directors must adapt to different audiences or changes in the needs of those audiences throughout the program.

People Directors have the opportunity to lead and develop business analysts and act as mentors for Associate Directors. Directors also provide coaching and skill building support to the research development team.In addition to gaining management experience, Directors receive coaching and mentoring from Zymergen’s leaders.

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