Vice President, Platform Engineering

Posted Date: Feb-15-2021

Job ID: 19289

Job Type: Full Time

Job Function: Executive Leadership

City: Seattle

State: Washington

Store: Seattle HQ

Remote Eligible: No

Please visit the Covid-19 Hiring Updates before applying

What's cool about this job

REI has a unique opportunity for a Senior Engineering Leader to advance our technical capabilities and provide both the strategic vision and tactical execution to support the Co-op's aspirations. The Head of Platform Engineering will lead the co-op's engineering practice, continuing the journey towards cloud-based platforms which support new products for the members and customers, and ensure data is accessible and effectively shared across the co-op. Reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, Dan Shull, this person will drive engineer productivity and engagement, unify and continue to modernize the engineering practice, and unlock data and information assets across the co-op. 

At REI Co-op, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived and exist to inspire and enable a life outside for everyone. 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 be themselves, to access opportunities and find their place in the outdoors. For us, that means: 

  • Investing in work that removes the barriers people and communities face to getting outside
  • Delivering relevant products, experiences, and expertise to equip and inspire a new generation of outdoor stewards
  • Cultivating a workforce that reflects the demographics of the markets we serve
  • Leading the industry’s efforts to welcome people and communities historically underrepresented into outdoor media and culture

The Head of Platform Engineering will develop the engineering practice, operating as the most senior engineering leader defining qualify in engineering, engineering tooling and methods, platform and digital pipeline, cloud and API engineering practice, and business intelligence technology organization. This person will define and implement methodologies that leverage best-in-class development principles to accelerate product/platform/service development and innovation (e.g., Agile, DevOps, Cloud, etc.). This team builds the foundation for the entire technology organization to enable the co-op to operate in a more agile environment responding to and anticipating evolving member and customer needs. The platform engineering organization will build shared components that are widely used across the co-op throughout our customer facing and internal business capabilities. Our platforms in commerce, customer and product will increasingly serve the co-op’s current and future business model and this leader and team will play a key role in enabling them.

Bring your passion and expertise

Essential Leadership Behaviors

The Essential Leadership Behaviors required by the future Head of Platform Engineering connect directly to the mission, the strategy and the quadruple bottom line that measures success for the Co-op.

The Head of Platform Engineering will do this by:

  • As a member of the Leadership Forum, developing a deep understanding of the current and future technical platform, while effectively communicating and broadly supporting execution of company strategies and priorities.
  • Exhibiting unquestionable integrity, ethics and the courage and ability to take a strong position when required for the good of the company.
  • Collaborating and driving transformation helping the organization evaluate the future engineering platform while keeping the organization focused on its goals.
  • Communicating a vision and set clear expectations that both inspire and engage the organization.
  • Defining and implementing methodologies that leverage best-in-class development principles to accelerate product/platform/service development and innovation (e.g., Agile, DevOps, Cloud, etc.).
  • Delivering results and advance the strategic direction by ensuring day-to-day operations run smoothly.
  • Driving decision making, demonstrate agility and show courage in taking risks.
  • Defining organizational goals and objectives which balance the delivery of new capabilities, ongoing operational requirements and a continuous improvement agenda.
  • Developing and maintaining strong relationships with key business stakeholders.
  • Acting as a trusted advisor as REI defines and evolves what it means to be leader in the next generation of experiences.
  • Modelling the way for proactive collaboration and championing what is best for the co-op by working closely with the Chief Technology Officer, Leadership Team members, and other functional leaders to ensure coordination of activities and resources within the organization.
  • Identifying and developing relationships with external solution providers that enhance the consumer experience and enrich the REI ecosystem through APIs.
  • Bringing a product mindset, driving innovation in a matrixed, cross functional environment.
  • Being highly intelligent (a balance of EQ and IQ), and possessing the intellectual curiosity to probe and understand complex business, economic, political and social issues and trends.
  • Being a natural leader with proven abilities across a broad range of
  • internal and external constituencies. A collaborative teacher and mentor.
  • Having confidence, being authentic and assertive.
  • Having a high level of influence and the ability to inspire through, around and with people in a fast-growing, dynamic organization.
  • Leading the Co-op Way and role model REI’s Values in Action at all times.

Professional Qualifications and Experience

The Professional Qualifications and Experience required by the future Head of Platform Engineering are imperative to the success of the candidate and the long-term success of the Co-op. 

  • Cloud Engineering - Building and operating platforms to serve customer at scale through cloud platforms (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS). Experience using the cloud to deliver a performant, secure & microservice based flexible business model.
  • Automation - Experience using automation techniques to increase the pace & flexibility of an enterprise. Creating speed via technology automation with robust continuous improvement mindset.
  • Enterprise Integration Framework - Practical, applied experience setting an enterprise integration strategy and migration legacy integration into an API & event framework that exposes data assets throughout the enterprise.
  • High Performing Engineering Practice – Experience attracting, developing and challenging world class engineers with a passion to drive excellence in engineering. A source of inspiration for our engineering community.
  • Product Development - Experience in software product development or information technology. Understanding of how to create software products in a platform ecosystem is ideal. Experience managing the product development process.
  • Change Management - Experience working as a change agent to drive innovation and transformational change within organizations. Successfully managed large-scale IT transformations and enterprise wide programs.
  • Technology Strategy - Experience developing, planning and implementing the company’s technology strategy, with special focus on execution and ensuring timely delivery. Possesses a strong point of view on best practices.
  • Custom and Off-The-Shelf Development - Experience creating custom-built solutions, as well as selecting ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions that require minimal customization.
  • Omni-Channel - Experience building IT products to enable a great customer experience across multiple customer-facing environments, including online, mobile, in-store and in the field (outside).
  • Collaboration & Influence - Ability to influence across the organization to get things done. Ability to develop trust to facilitate strong relationships across all levels, internal and external.
  • Team Leadership - Ability to lead, inspire and motivate large teams, strategic relationships and third-party vendors, both on-shore and off-shore. Ability to build exceptional teams, including hiring, developing, mentoring and retaining talent and creating a deep talent pipeline.
  • Results Orientation - Possesses strong project management skills, with the ability to manage the product development roadmap and processes to ensure deliverables are achieved under tight deadlines.
  • Industry Trends & Best Practices - Possesses a thoughtful point of view on industry trends impacting commerce, customer experiences and the role of personal devices. Has an informed perspective on best-in-class experiences and technologies.
  • Decision Making & Judgment - Demonstrates a high degree of professionalism and judgment. Ability to make difficult decisions in a timely way in support of the co-op’s mission.
  • Strategic Thinking - Ability to have a “big picture” perspective on the marketplace and develop a vision and strategies that create and sustain competitive advantage.
  • Education - Undergraduate degree and MBA from a leading program are highly desirable.


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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1. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall consider the following factors:

(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.

(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought or held by the person.

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(d) The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

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(f) The seriousness of the offense or offenses.

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(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

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