Director, Innovation Portfolio

Posted Date: Nov- 9-2021

Job ID: 21836

Job Type: Full Time

Job Function: eCommerce / Online

City: Seattle

State: Washington

Store: Seattle HQ

Remote Eligible: Yes

Please visit the Covid-19 Hiring Updates before applying

What's cool about this job

This role will help run an end-to-end pipeline process with clear intake requirements against explicit test & learn plans, milestone funding approvals, along with resourcing considerations and tradeoffs. They will play an integral part in standing up the REI Innovation portfolio, working to ensure a healthy and balanced portfolio across varying types of innovation and strategic opportunity areas – delivering short, mid, and long-term value for the Co-op.

The Director, Innovation Portfolio is a strategic innovation veteran with a career spanning corporate innovation and engagement with the startup ecosystem. They bring years of learnings from operating in dynamic and challenging retail environments in which customer expectations, digital capabilities, and new entrants are constantly reshaping the marketplace. Bringing to bear their analytical, operational, and strategic expertise, they have successfully run an end-to-end pipeline of product and service innovation within large companies. Well versed in lean innovation thinking and practices, they have deep knowledge in hypothesis testing and learning environments in which knowledge is light and assumptions are substantial.

The successful candidate will have designed and stood-up governance constructs and associated systems, tools, and processes optimized for testing product-market fit and customer learnings. They have demonstrated experience translating enterprise innovation priorities into portfolio objectives, an underlying operating model, and an investment thesis with explicit financial guardrails. In addition, they have a track record of defining key portfolio health variables that enable strategic investments decisions; business metrics tied to desired learnings; and a supporting reporting process that ensures learnings are truly captured and acted upon.

They are adept at challenging innovators to ask the right questions and test the right assumptions. And they have solid experience increasing the speed of learning through trust and consistency.


  • Build and manage an enterprise innovation governance model and streamlined decision-making process that balances both the needed support and buy-in from key execs along with clarity of expectations, ease of use, and perceived value from business partners throughout each phase of the pipeline. 
  • Develop, and in some cases deliver, senior leadership documents and presentations which clearly articulate the opportunities, risks, and decisions to be made around test & learn initiatives and overall customer innovation for the Co-op.  
  • Collaborate with Strategy and Customer Insights teams on internal and external research along with stakeholder consultation to determine innovation white space around specific consumer and marketplace trends, underserved customer segments/needs, new businesses models, and emerging technologies.  
  • Act as the conduit to/from key REI business units to capture their strategies, priorities and needs, feeding into the portfolio and sharing out learnings from experiments and tests.
  • Create a portfolio construct of all test & learn work to ensure learnings are captured, codified, actionable/digestible, and accessible to all relevant stakeholders. 
  • Ensure an enterprise balanced portfolio and a healthy pipeline of test and learn that enables a continuous flow of knowledge and de-risked innovations. 
  • Enable test & learn investment decisions by representing a strategic lens into the portfolio and the highest potential impact/returns.
  • Coordinate the resourcing – human and capital – of the Customer Innovation team’s test & learn sprints, to ensure each is appropriately resourced and on track for learning milestones. 
  • Manage an on-going evaluation and reporting process to ensure appropriate communication flows and all stakeholders have the information needed.

Bring your passion and expertise

  • 12+ years’ experience in roles in the disciplines of portfolio management, financial analytics, strategy development, and/or business planning.
  • Minimum 10 years business leadership experience in retail and/or strategy consulting; Preferably 5-7 years of experience within corporate innovation functions.
  • BS or BA in a related field (business, economics, etc.); MBA preferred.
  • Systems thinker, with the ability to analyze and understand disparate enterprise systems, tools, and processes in order to create a wholistic operating system optimized for innovation, testing and learning.
  • Strong analytical mindset, with the ability to collect, analyze, and interpret complex information and present in digestible, easy to understand format.
  • Intellectually curious problem solver, with a proven track record of developing and implementing new enterprise solutions.
  • Ability to breakdown complex or ambiguous concepts into component parts of a test & learn plan – appropriate test methodology; make or break assumptions; sprint KPIs or OKRs; and key internal dependencies.
  • Highly collaborative, with strong and effective communication and interpersonal skills to engage with a range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to create short and long format business documents and presentations that give senior leaders various strategic views of key portfolio variables, with clearly articulated trade-offs and decisions to consider.
  • Proven ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment, and effectively manage and meet multiple, simultaneous deadlines with minimum assistance.
  • A strong aptitude for conceptualizing, communicating, and selling new concepts with an ability to convey new product offerings to a broad audience with differing needs.

At REI Co-op, we believe that a life outdoors is a life well lived...for all. To deliver on that promise, we are working with our 15,000 employees, 19M members and the broader outdoor community toward a reality where everyone has the opportunity to experience the joy of the outdoors.  Tired of corporations that maximize profit at the expense of their customers?  As a cooperative, REI is owned by our members, not investors.  We return profit to our members through an annual dividend.  There is no tradeoff between doing what’s right for our members and what’s right for our business because we exist to serve our members.  Join a company doing good in the world and right by its customers.


At REI we offer an enviable work environment that Fortune Magazine has recognized on the "100 Best Places to Work" list since the award's inception – 23 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.

With more than 160 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 15,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.

REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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