The Estee Lauder Companies Director, IT Innovations Lab Operations in Long Island City, New York

Director, IT Innovations Lab Operations

Brand: Estée Lauder Companies


The Director of Technology Innovation Operations is a core member of an innovation “pod”. This new leadership position is critical to the overall Enterprise to bring new, innovative technology thinking and problem-solving to Estee Lauder Companies. This role will report into the VP of Technology Innovation and will lead the operations for cross-enterprise, EL wide Innovation initiatives. The role will be accountable for operational leadership through successful project completion and post-audit reporting on promised business value. Budget for multiple cost centers; multiple concurrent projects and provide leadership for several global projects and programs concurrently. The candidate’s ability to remain highly organized in a dynamic and evolving environment, ability to engage seamlessly at all levels of the organization (and externally), and ability to seamlessly execute will be highly valued. This position requires executive level presence and consulting acumen (similar to a practice area leader at a top tier industry consulting firm. This role will be a key business partner to the Vice President and will partner with his/her staff and executive partners to drive business outcomes leveraging technology innovation.

These activities will shift over time as priorities change, and may include

  • Lead all facets of daily operations, ensuring compliance with relevant policies and procedures including: financial forecasting, headcount planning, audit & control, and centralized policy/reporting

  • Lead $MM budget and staffing responsibilities for operation and technology by partnering with product owners to understand scope of effort, work deliverables, and plans.

  • Lead the design, development, and management of the Innovation priorities ensuring alignment with the corporate strategic agenda.

  • Lead project teams on strategy consulting-like engagements that identify and seek to harness enterprise or business unit growth opportunities

  • Plan and manage large-scale innovation activities and events (ex. hackathons, prototype events, and similar showcase technology events)

  • Lead tactical planning and execution for experiments to prove / disprove the desirability, feasibility, and viability of new consumer value propositions

  • Project manage across generally ambiguously defined bodies of work; create clear structure, timing, action plans, meeting cadence, recaps, presentation materials, ad hoc analyses, and other supporting materials as needed

  • Work in a multi-disciplinary innovation “pod” including product managers, ux designers, strategists, and engineers to drive rapid prototyping to support proof / disproof of hypotheses.

  • Use your skills in human centered design and / or lean startup methodologies to help design low-fidelity experiments with clear success metrics, and inform requirements for prototypes of all kinds – paper, false door, wizard of oz, non-working apps, etc. – that help prove out either the desirability, feasibility, or business viability of new offerings

  • Build / maintain relationships internally and externally that help facilitate rapid, scrappy experimentation by “borrowing” smarts, resources, or permission from others

  • Build and manage relationships with company executives, influencing decisions in line with business and enterprise strategy

  • Create and drive communications to broad audiences (Internal / External) on behalf of Technology Innovation Leadership

  • Support building an innovation operating model, developing and executing key strategies, and adding capabilities in support of the future operating model(s)

  • Partner directly with other corporate, brand, and regional teams to build and evolve new innovation capabilities and operating processes

  • Support Innovation related MVPs, prototypes, pilots, and proof of concept development and execution

  • Actively contribute to hypothesis development and experiment design to drive new innovation products, experiences, or services at Estee Lauder Companies

  • Create and maintain weekly, monthly, and quarterly KPI reporting and communicate this out regularly to key stakeholders

  • Ensure that EL’s best practices, processes, and norms are fully leveraged within all initiatives

Leadership Skills

  • 3-5 years background in an experiment-driven / entrepreneurial environment helping launch new products, services, experiences or businesses – domain expertise could range from product management, growth marketing, experience design (product, store / physical, or digital), or innovation ideally in a consumer-facing business (creative / innovation / digital agency or management consultancy, retail / ecommerce, CPG / consumer brands, museum / entertainment / event design, etc.), with a successful track record bringing experiences to market

  • Technology Innovation thinker; you love solving big, hairy problems and can logically visualize complex systems, user interaction flows, and beautiful user interface

  • Passionate about building, managing, and continually evolving innovation products throughout the product lifecycle.

  • Strong project management skills. Must be able to provide structure, be proactive, navigate ambiguity, manage stakeholders, hold others accountable without authority, and create appropriate professional collateral (e.g., decks, white papers, design briefs, RFPs, project plans, etc.)

  • Excellent leadership skills and demonstrated experience leading complex, high visibility, cross-enterprise programs and events within a matrix organization and lead 8 – 10 resources, including broader cross-functional ELC enterprise resources

  • Exceptional communication, active listening, critical thinking, and presentation skills

  • Team player with ability to interact with multiple levels of the organization and external partners.

  • Humility, learner’s mindset

Technical Skills

  • Prior experience and knowledge in some of the following areas is preferred:

  • Innovation or incubation roles, former lab experience

  • Proven planning capabilities, including communications, events, and projects

  • Ability to translate program strategic vision into roadmap and execution plans Ability to triage and prioritize based on business or program need

  • Ability to run complex innovation projects, diligence projects and identify risks.

  • Competent in new technology evaluation, ability to support technical change management and provide thought leadership skills in integration technologies, tools and services

Business Skills

  • Collaborative relationship building skills with various internal and external stakeholders. Ability to build relationships cross-functionally and lead toward common goals, proven record of successfully managing executive relationships.

  • Solid problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and critical thinking abilities.

  • Leading cross functional teams and extracting the best from each team member, ability to leverage change management best practices to mitigate resistance, Track record of taking action “getting things done” with minimal guidance

  • Have an inquisitive interest in innovation and engineering techniques


  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering or Business or equivalent

  • 8 years of New Product Development Operations and/or Service Operations and/or Strategy Operations experience

  • 5 years of experience supporting MVP, pilot and proof of concept, prototype development, lab operations and execution

Preferred Qualifications/Skills:

MBA, Prior experience working in Startup/Incubator environment, Product Teams, Digital Agencies (Design Think/Agile), Corporate Innovation, and/or Strategy Consulting

Job: Information Technology

Primary Location: Americas-US-NY-Long Island City

Job Type: Standard

Schedule: Full-time

Shift: 1st (Day) Shift

We are an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Number: 1815084