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Vice President, Global Product Design

Herman Miller, Inc. k


Aug 1
Job Description

This position can also be located in China, India, or the United Kingdom.

You can make a salary. Or you can make a difference. Or you can work as Vice President, Global Product Design at Herman Miller and make both.

About this Opportunity
As Vice President, Global Product Design, you'll drive global product design excellence across the Herman Miller family of brands. You will oversee the internal design studio, assuring its capabilities are aligned with the needs of all product categories and that it consistently delivers design excellence. You'll grow a pool of external design talent by scouting new design talent, maintaining broad knowledge of the global talent pool, establishing relationships with potential future partners, and maintaining relationships with existing partners. You will support Creative Directors in their selection of appropriate talent for brands and projects. You'll work to balance all design outcomes, including product excellence, optimized development speed, and overall costs.

What You'll Do
- You'll have opportunities to speak up, solve problems, lead others, and be an owner every day as you...
- Coach internal and external design talent throughout projects to align creative intent, project brief demands, and overall schedules and budgets.
- Grow and nurture the internal design studio to support the needs of all categories across the spectrum of design challenges. You will grow the capability of the team to consistently deliver design excellence, and the capacity to absorb demand from product categories.
- Identify potential design partners for advanced innovation projects. You'll connect the best possible design partners to advanced and in-line teams.
- Maintain ongoing relationships with significant design partners, including historic partnerships.
- Oversee design contracts and royalties, aligning total design spend with strategic objectives. You will rigorously track royalty and design expenses and ensure total design costs meet financial objectives.
- Oversee product design efforts for the group, ensuring designs fulfill design tenets and are the best possible solution to the brief.
Partner with Brand Creative Directors to align the best design talent to each development project, balancing speed, lifetime cost, category experience, diversity of worldview, and design expression.
- Partner with the Legal Team to develop and execute intellectual property strategies. You will maintain knowledge of all current innovation and in-line projects to ensure meaningful intellectual property is identified as early as possible, and that filings align with and protect design concepts.
- Provide creative guidance and support for global color, material, and finishes efforts.
- Work tirelessly to improve the overall quality of product design and serve as the voice for product design to internal teams and customers. - You will also serve as design coach to category and organizational leadership to deepen sensitivity to and appreciation for design excellence across organization.
- Perform additional responsibilities as requested to achieve business objectives.

Sound Like You?
You might be just who we're looking for if you have...
- A Bachelor's degree in Design or a Design-related field.
- 15+ years of design experience, with an emphasis on product design.
- Five or more years of design management and leadership experience. Global leadership experience is preferred.
- Impeccable design sensitivity and taste.
- Profit and loss (P+L) understanding and the ability to partner with business leadership.
- Acumen for balancing aspirational objectives with near-term business demands.
- The ability to coach designers to align their work with the brief, brand voice, and project constraints.
- Deep knowledge of global furniture design practitioners, both established and new.
- The ability to think strategically and execute tactically.
- Demonstrated expert written/verbal communication skills, and the capability to present complex concepts in a concise and understandable way to a variety of audiences.
- A strong aptitude for leading through influence.
- Strong relationship and consensus-building skills to manage projects in a matrixed environment.
- A demonstrated ability to lead, influence, and work with all levels in the organization.
- Financial literacy with strong overall business acumen.
- The ability to perform all essential job functions of the position with or without accommodations.

Herman Miller is committed to diversity and inclusion. We are an equal opportunity employer including veterans and people with disabilities.

Herman Miller, Inc.

Herman Miller is a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services. Headquartered in West Michigan, we have relied on innovative design for over 100 years to solve problems for people wherever they work, live, learn, and heal. Herman Miller’s designs are part of museum collections worldwide. Known and respected for our leadership in corporate social responsibility, Herman Miller has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the past 12 years, and we have earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its Corporate Equality Index for the past nine years. You can make a salary making furniture. Or you can make a difference. Or you can work at Herman Miller and make both. Visit for more information and a list of our current opportunities.

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