Chief of Staff - Development, Open to flexible working

Brentford, Stevenage
10 Jan 2021
31 Jan 2021
Contract Type

The Chief of Staff is a key leadership role within the R&D Operations organization reporting into the Head of R&D Operations and supporting the SVP of Development and is a member of both the Development and R&D Operations Leadership teams. The R&D Operations function is a centralized team, doing what it takes to mobilize R&D's people, time and resources for maximum patient impact.

We bring:

  • FOCUS: Utilizing our tenacity, experience and expertise to turbocharge what is most critical to R&D's success - moving with pace to progress the best opportunities, simplifying and prioritizing high value activities
  • EFFICIENCY: Leveraging hard data to confront whatever gets in the way of R&D performing as effectively as possible -collaborating with the best external innovation and specialist support where that makes sense.
  • HEALTHY TENSION: Being bold about asking difficult questions, looking for radical leaps as well as increments of progress and injecting fresh thinking to improve how things get done.

Realizing our ambition requires a rare blend of professional skills and expert capabilities, as well as the aptitude to learn or source new ones whenever the need arises.


  • The Chief of Staff plays a vital role in shaping the development and execution of strategic initiatives to drive operational performance in R&D at the direction of the Head of Operations and the Functional Leader. He/She ensures that the right connections and opportunities within R&D (and the wider business as necessary) are identified and implemented. Additionally, he/she provides effective operations expertise and support for the coordination, tracking and monitoring of activities and deliverables for the Group.
  • Ensures close working and collaboration between Operations, the line functions and the other Chief of Staffs to maximize impact and synergies.


  • Provide direct support to the SVP Development as Chief of Staff and support the Global R&D Operations organization to drive operational excellence in the delivery of our pipeline. A great Chief of Staff makes great things happen because he/she can:
    • Guide prioritization of effort and attention
    • Equip leaders with wise counsel and practical, pragmatic support
    • Assess performance and leverage data analysis to improve it
    • Bring excellent judgment and relevant experience to bear on a constantly changing set of challenges and opportunities - large and small.
    • Orchestrate complex projects and activities from first plans to final finish
    • Facilitate discussions and debate to reach decisions
    • Navigate people, perspectives and processes with savvy and sensitivity
    • Foresee problems and solve whatever can't be forestalled

Problem Solving:

This individual must be able to effectively prioritize to ensure group leaders remain focused on core, critical objectives. The individual must also navigate differing internal perspectives to arrive at a congruent and cohesive plan for implementation that is clearly aligned behind GSK's strategic objectives for the pipeline and the broader strategy, portfolio and planning agenda. The ability to anticipate and remediate problems that arise is essential. A rigorous, structured approach to problem solving with enduring results is key.

Interpersonal Skills

The job requires the ability to positively influence others and work across a matrix. Excellent interpersonal, motivational and presentation skills are required alongside the demonstrated ability to function successfully in a team-oriented environment.

  • Team work
    • Lead and empower teams towards effective delivery (potentially lead a team of operations experts)
    • Have a project leadership approach that inspires confidence, buy-in and followership
    • Easily find value-adding role when working with SVPs as well as bench scientists
  • Stakeholder management
    • Consult, effectively listen and understand objectives, deliverables and points of view
    • Negotiate solutions with broad buy-in through influencing, syndicating and addressing concerns
    • Be a proactive thought partner to stakeholders through proposing and shaping solutions, adding views and constructively disagreeing
  • Responding to Pressure and Change
    • Drive a culture of continuous improvement
    • Set the direction for organizational development and ensure effective communication of change initiatives
    • Show flexibility and adapt positively to change
  • Ownership
    • Demonstrate a "can do" attitude, helping organization to deliver stretch goals
    • Flex between approaches and deal with ambiguity while directing others
    • Surface new areas where the Operations team can bring its capabilities bear
    • Possess a reputation as an "internal expert" in delivery of Strategy Implementation

Specialized Knowledge

  • Basic Education: Bachelors degree in science
  • Preferred Education" Science PhD, MBA
  • Consulting background a plus

Experience Required

  • Experience in leading strategy implementation and change in a complex R&D environment or enterprise wide projects - a proven change agent, operating with passion, urgency and commitment.
  • Credibility at Senior LT level- personal impact, knowledge, ability to understand and respond to their business requirements, ability to challenge when appropriate.
  • Deep leadership experience and cross functional breadth of knowledge in pharmaceutical business, processes and operations.
  • Experienced Chief of Staff/Operations leader/ Consultant.
  • Strong people agility, influencing skills and diplomacy. Demonstrated confidence in challenging mind-sets, influencing leaders, and developing/implementing strategies.
  • Ability to manage confidential issues with complete discretion.
  • Track record in establishing teams to deliver strategic and operational support for major organizations/ departments
  • Proven matrix management and influencing skills and clear ability to work effectively in cross functional team environment at a senior level and across

R&D and industry knowledge

  • Broad understanding of pharmaceutical industry, key challenges, business processes and technical environments
  • Demonstrate fluency in GSK's R&D portfolio with an understanding of the strategic direction of the company

As a company driven by our values of Patient focus, Transparency, Respect and Integrity, we know inclusion and diversity are essential for us to be able to succeed. We want all our colleagues to thrive at GSK bringing their unique experiences, ensuring they feel good and to keep growing their careers. As a candidate for a role, we want you to feel the same way.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are open to all talent. In the US, we also adhere to Affirmative Action principles. This ensures that all qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race/ethnicity, colour, national origin, religion, gender, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability, genetic information, military service, covered/protected veteran status or any other federal, state or local protected class*(*US only).

We believe in an agile working culture for all our roles. If flexibility is important to you, we encourage you to explore with our hiring team what the opportunities are.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to discuss any adjustments to our process which might help you demonstrate your strengths and capabilities. 

As you apply, we will ask you to share some personal information which is entirely voluntary. We want to have an opportunity to consider a diverse pool of qualified candidates and this information will assist us in meeting that objective and in understanding how well we are doing against our inclusion and diversity ambitions. We would really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to complete it. Rest assured, Hiring Managers do not have access to this information and we will treat your information confidentially.

Important notice to Employment businesses/ Agencies

GSK does not accept referrals from employment businesses and/or employment agencies in respect of the vacancies posted on this site. All employment businesses/agencies are required to contact GSK's commercial and general procurement/human resources department to obtain prior written authorization before referring any candidates to GSK. The obtaining of prior written authorization is a condition precedent to any agreement (verbal or written) between the employment business/ agency and GSK. In the absence of such written authorization being obtained any actions undertaken by the employment business/agency shall be deemed to have been performed without the consent or contractual agreement of GSK. GSK shall therefore not be liable for any fees arising from such actions or any fees arising from any referrals by employment businesses/agencies in respect of the vacancies posted on this site.

Please note that if you are a US Licensed Healthcare Professional or Healthcare Professional as defined by the laws of the state issuing your license, GSK may be required to capture and report expenses GSK incurs, on your behalf, in the event you are afforded an interview for employment. This capture of applicable transfers of value is necessary to ensure GSK's compliance to all federal and state US Transparency requirements. 

Similar jobs

Similar jobs