Inter IKEA Group Material and Innovation Deployment Leader in Älmhult, Sweden

Today Category Area Specific HFB Material and Innovation project portfolio is spanning from development of Material Directions now to 2030, to research and implementation of new materials and technologies to decrease the dependency of fossil based materials (e.g. parafine for Candles), shift to more sustainable alternatives to palm oil, reduce CO2 footprint for Ceramics and Glass as well to increase the use of recycled materials. With the Project portfolio we have today and the strategy going forward, we would like to complement our team with a Material and Innovation Deployment Leader that is having an excellent track record of leading to successful completion complex projects within a global, multicultural & cross-organizational environment.

About the job

We are looking for a Material & Innovation (M&I) Deployment Leader for Category Area Specific HFB within the Engineering & Quality team. You will lead development projects of new materials & innovations, new technologies, creating the foundation for an outstanding IKEA range. For us this means fulfilling all aspects of IKEA Democratic Design; meaning quality, function, form, affordability and sustainability. The position reports to Engineering & Quality Manager and is part of Category Area Management Team.

*Key responsibilities of the role:*

  • Be a partner for Category Area Manager, Category Managers, EQM and EQLs and lead, the Material and Innovation agenda for the category area/categories, as well, define objectives, goals and priorities based on IKEA Strategies

  • Facilitate development and implementation of the Material Directions (where applicable) for existing materials and production techniques with a time horizon of 5+ years and secure improvement of existing materials and production technologies for the categories

  • Owns the Material & Innovation project portfolio for Category Area and inform all stakeholders on the execution status of the portfolio in relation with scope, goals, budget, time plan, resources and risks.

  • Represent Category Area in project Steering Groups for projects lead by Material & Innovation, Material Management, Business Development Project Office and Circular Supply Chain Team, and be Material and Innovation speaking person for Category Area

  • Formulate, communicate and anchor material innovation development and innovation deployment business cases in IKEA Development Councils (i.e. Material & Solution Council) as well in IKEA New Business & Innovation Councils (Strategic Innovation Council - SIC, Innovation Council - IC), describing necessary investment and resources required for realization of actions,

  • Identify, evaluate, develop and maintain partnerships and potential new technologies of relevance leading to IKEA home furnishing applications;

  • Secure that all necessary agreements are in place together with legal counsel and support in negotiations and initiate patent application processes together with the team responsible for this.

You have a passion for front end development and for leading radical change. You would like to lead the development and innovation of the material in a global matrix organization. You have the ability to think “out of the box”, but with an analytic and structured approach. You like to connect ideas from different fields, as well different parts of the organization to create new solutions and to implement them. You have the ability to lead resources, without formal authority, in order to reach common goals.

You have experience from leading innovative business development projects. You have knowledge about market trends, future demands and technologies within own area. You understand international business, product development processes and the total value chain.

*To be successful in this role we see that you have:*

  • A university degree in engineering;

  • Strong engineering background in business - not only theory;

  • Very good project management knowledge and experience

  • Extensive experience from strategic development and international business, from preferably several parts of the value chain;

  • Knowledge of automation and manufacturing technologies;

  • Proven track record from working with development and the experience of working in close cooperation with innovation partners both internal and external

  • A general understanding of how different materials and technologies are connected to costs

  • Strong skills as a communicator and influencer – capable of getting ideas and solutions understood by a broader audience.

  • Knowledge and interest in market trends, future demands and technologies within different material areas;

  • The capacity to steer and work in a developing and changing environment.


The M&I Deployment Leader position is a challenging and rewarding position with great impact but it needs something to be successful. Curiosity and an open-mind for new possibilities, always with an analytical and structured approach. Passion and capability to connect ideas from different fields and create new solutions. An ability to lead resources, without formal authority, in order to reach common goals. The capability to build networks, sharing knowledge and coaching others. Strong skills as a communicator and influencer – someone capable of getting ideas and solutions understood by a broader audience. This person is characterized as a problem solver with the business and customer in focus - making sure things happen. We love what we do and we seek people who love their work too and who share our values in their professional and everyday life.

If you have any questions about the position please contact hiring manager Adriana Paun +46 728 86 42 98 and regarding the recruitment process, please contact Kristyna Brabcova at +46 733 427 586 or Category HR Business Partner Erika Kraus +46 72 193 71 85.

If you are interested to apply, please send us your* CV and motivational letter in English by 20th of April 2018.*