Champion Petfoods

Edmonton, Alberta



Champion Petfoods, a leading global manufacturer in the food processing industry, has earned a stellar reputation for innovative, premium, branded products that are distributed in more than 80 countries around the world. Located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the company has an unwavering commitment to creating the very highest quality Biologically Appropriate dog and cat food, made from Fresh Regional Ingredients, and Never Outsourced. Guided by a clear mandate and uncompromising values, the company has experienced tremendous growth and success, and earned numerous industry awards.

The Opportunity

This is an outstanding opportunity for a seasoned R&D leader to enhance the success of a global brand known for its quality and innovation. Reporting to the SVP Research, Innovation & Product Development, the VP Research & Development will lead a highly-skilled technical team in developing new and enhanced products from concept to commercialization. Working collaboratively with internal and external partners, the VP will be a key driver of the company’s research and development processes.

This position is located at Champion’s head office in Edmonton, Alberta, and offers excellent potential for career advancement.


  • Lead the research and development teams to create products that enhance Champion’s reputation as a provider of innovative, premium pet foods.
  • Work in collaboration with key internal partners to set the strategic direction for the company’s research and new product development initiatives.
  • Develop processes that facilitate improved quality, quantity and pace of product development.
  • Develop and demonstrate extensive current knowledge of research and product development issues, opportunities, and other external trends that impact the product line.
  • Promote corporate and/or project research activities and capabilities to potential collaborators, sponsors, partners, academic institutions, and the scientific community.
  • Initiate and/or participate in activities that promote the company’s research, such as conferences and scientific meetings.
  • Direct the development of support materials and scientific papers for publication on the company’s website and for use in distributor and retailer training programs.
  • Liaise with other corporate functional areas regarding product ingredients, to increase awareness of changes or improvements to existing products, and to address day-to-day issues.

The Ideal Candidate

As the ideal candidate, your expertise is rooted in a deep understanding of the science of food, complemented by strong business acumen and an orientation towards innovation. A seasoned leader of people and projects, you understand how to create processes that encourage creativity while maintaining a disciplined, rigorous environment focused on excellence.

Confident and articulate, you are able to build effective relationships with internal and external partners, and to work in collaboration to achieve results. A continual learner who keeps abreast of the latest developments in your field, you are gifted at deriving insights and using them to add value to the product development process. Independent and pragmatic, you thrive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment and are able to remain calm and objective as you move the organization towards its vision.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • University degree in animal science, food science, animal nutrition, or a related discipline.
  • A minimum of 15 years’ progressive leadership experience in product development, research, marketing or product management, with training in QA, chemical, and physical analysis of food products.
  • Strong understanding of food ingredient production methodologies and ingredient supply practices.
  • Understanding of nutritional formulation processes and the ability to interpret predictive formula analyses.
  • Proven leadership skills that include employee development, coaching, and team building abilities.
  • Experienced in using tools to research, design, and improve business processes.
  • Computer literacy, including experience with an ERP system and the ability to quickly adapt to new software.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with strong presentation skills that engage stakeholders and clearly communicate results and ideas.
  • Experience in developing and managing departmental budgets.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, with the ability to work well under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent judgement and decision-making abilities, including strong problem identification and problem resolution skills.
  • Self-directed, with the ability to work successfully both independently and as part of a team.


To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please forward your resume to:

Norine Pike
Director, Executive & Professional Search
HumanEdge Global
Phone:  780.429.8870