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Global Innovation Director - ITW Seats & Motion

Apply Job ID REF5614N Date posted 04/14/2022 Address 100 Kirts Boulevard, Troy, MI Job Type Full-time Job Status Exempt

ITW (Illinois Tool Works Inc.) is a Fortune 200 company and is one of the world’s leading diversified manufacturers of specialized industrial equipment, automotive components, consumables, and related service businesses. ITW businesses serve local customers and markets around the globe, with operations in 55 countries and an employee base of more than 48,000 women and men who adhere to the highest ethical standards. These talented individuals, many of whom have specialized engineering or scientific expertise, contribute to our global leadership in innovation. We are proud of our broad portfolio of more than 17,000 granted and pending patents.

The Seats & Motion Division within the ITW Automotive Segment delivers highly differentiated, precision-engineered plastic solutions to our “80” global OEMs & Tiers across North America and Europe through customer back innovation, targeted at addressing the emerging pain points associated with passenger seating & comfort, and ensuring best-in-class quality & delivery through our commitment to 80/20 operational excellence. ​ 

Position Summary:

The Global Innovation Director is a critical leadership role for the Division responsible for executing against our strategic intent to deliver above market organic growth through new product innovation.  This position reports to the VP-GM of the Division. The key responsibilities of the role are to carefully manage and develop the product portfolio by defending the strength and value of existing “80 products” and by developing deep intimacy with our “80 customers” to discover new solutions and products that can that deliver increasing value and incremental high-quality growth to the business over the long term.  The Innovation Director will be required to leverage their leadership and organization building skills to further strengthen the Global Innovation Team as well as the overall Innovation and commercial processes within the division.

As a member of the division leadership team, this individual will also be responsible for working collaboratively with the broader team to deliver and support our business goals for 80/20 operational excellence, zero safety incidents and an inclusive and diverse work place that support our ITW values of Integrity, Respect, Trust, Shared Risk, and Simplicity

Work Locations:Troy, MI (Alternate Options - Tinley Park,IL, US OR Roettingen, Germany)


  • Lead Division New Product Growth Strategy by using an “outside in” approach to identify opportunities for unique and differentiated solutions for Seats & Motion Products.
  • Support VPGM on deployment and execution of the Customer Back Innovation Process to ensure cross functional alignment, risk management and financial goals and time-lines achieved.
  • Drive decisions, innovation and accountability using business case criteria and balanced risk analysis. Work closely with S&E organization to drive discovery, value selling and launch of innovative products.
  • Develop relationships with Global Advanced Engineering and R&D teams at OEMs and Tiers to understand the product impact of changing strategies.
  • Periodically seek VOC (OEM’s and Tiers) and competitive research to develop, strengthen and maintain an Innovation Pipeline and Product Portfolio that supports the growth objectives of the division.
  • Collaborate across ITW divisions and segments & corporate functions to leverage expertise and to learn and share best practices for innovation process and drive synergies as required.
  • Partners with VP/GM and the Division Leadership Team to develop and execute Annual and Long Range Plans for the innovation pipeline and new product growth based on in-depth understanding of product portfolio position, opportunity analysis, intimacy of customer pain points and competitive position in global markets. 
  • Manage Division IP portfolio by ensuring new technology is properly protected and existing IP is evaluated.  Work closely with Group Technology Counsel on IP strategy and filings.
  • Develop high performing global innovation team through the process of organization design, competency development and the recruiting, hiring and developing talent to maximize individual and team success. Fosters a culture of engagement, cascading vision, and creating goal alignment
  • Champion the ITW Leadership Development framework developing talent for the business and for the enterprise. 
  • Fosters a culture of engagement and inclusivity that is aligned with our values.
  • 10+ years of progressive business experience including at least 3-5 years of product management and/or product development experience.
  • Highly desired experience - 5+ years’ with Automotive systems, standards and product development activities coupled with proven track record of Innovation in the Automotive industry – from identifying market opportunities to commercializing solutions with proven success and revenue growth.
  • Understanding of plastic injection molding and Automotive interior systems in a plus.   
  • Well-versed in deploying voice of the customer and marketing research tools and processes that drive short and long term product strategy.
  • Outstanding project manager of cross functional teams who can provide leadership and discipline through product development process that carefully balances time-to-market with project risk to achieve results. 
  • Solid financial abilities including working knowledge of budgeting, sales and business development tools.
  • A high energy, team player with demonstrated ability to build a high performing team and collaborative cross-functional relationships and motivates others to excel.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to build consensus and gain internal alignment across different stakeholder groups – cross functional team, Division management and executive leadership. 
  • Entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a strategic, forward-thinking approach to business growth
  • Sound 80/20 mindset, understanding and demonstrated experience. 
  • Fluent in English. Knowledge of German or Spanish is a plus.
  • B.S./B.A. degree required from four-year College in Engineering or equivalent ITW experiences; Master’s Degree a plus.

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position requires travel globally (up to 40% in North America & Europe).  Must have valid driver’s license and good driving record. Must be able to travel internationally, if required.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

ITW is an equal opportunity employer. We value our colleagues’ unique perspectives, experiences and ideas and create workplaces where everyone can develop their careers and perform to their full potential. 

As an equal employment opportunity employer, ITW is committed to equal employment opportunity and fair treatment for employees, beginning with the hiring process and continuing through all aspects of the employment relationship. 

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, protected Veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.  

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At ITW, we value our colleagues' unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas and create workplaces where everyone can develop their careers and perform to their full potential.

Equal Opportunities

ITW is committed to equal employment opportunity and fair treatment for employees, beginning with the hiring process and continuing through all aspects of the employment relationship.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Read more information here.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and are unable or limited in your ability to use or access this online application system process due to your disability, please email corp_accessibility@itw.com to request assistance. No other requests will be acknowledged.