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Director, R&D Operations - New York, NY

Cockroach Labs

Cockroach Labs

New York, NY, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Databases are the beating heart of every business in the world.

Cockroach Labs is the team behind CockroachDB, the most highly evolved cloud-native, distributed SQL database on the planet. We created CockroachDB and CockroachDB Cloud to deliver the ability to build and scale apps with fewer obstacles, more freedom, and greater efficiency. Today, Cockroach Labs helps companies of all sizes—and the apps they develop—scale fast, survive disaster, and thrive everywhere. Join us on our mission to make data easy.

About the role

We are seeking a strategic and experienced individual to join our team as the Director of Research and Development (R&D) Operations. This role is pivotal in driving operational excellence within our R&D department (Engineering & Product), growing efficient processes, and facilitating seamless collaboration across various teams. The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership skills, a track record of implementing operational improvements, and a passion for driving organizational success.

R&D Operations plays a crucial role in enabling our organization to exceed customer expectations by shortening feedback loops and accelerating learning. By focusing on coordination and process effectiveness , R&D Operations minimizes friction and allows teams to concentrate on delivering high-quality products and services. They ensure that R&D is constantly improving in all facets while remaining aligned, agile, and consistently exceeding the evolving needs of our customers with high quality.

You Will

  • Technical Program Management (TPM): Coordinate and manage complex cross-functional initiatives to achieve organizational goals. Bring order to chaos, allocate resources effectively, and measure success.
  • Organizational Alignment: Ensure alignment with corporate goals and stakeholders. Facilitate effective communication within R&D and across departments.
  • R&D Enablement: Onboard, train, and coach teams to enhance and improve project management and operational skill sets. Coordinate team-building activities and support professional development initiatives. Assist with the Engineering internship and mentorship programs, as well as with onboarding.
  • SDLC : Grow and continually improve the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and product development processes. Leads release management, planning, and R&D documentation to optimize efficiency and quality.
  • Financial Operations: Oversee procurement processes, budget planning, and vendor management to support R&D operations.
  • Quality Management: Assist in implementing and monitoring quality planning, control, and improvement processes. Identify opportunities for enhancing quality and efficiency.
  • Process Improvement: Lead efforts to identify and eliminate waste in R&D operations. Continuously monitor performance metrics and drive targeted improvements.
  • Performance Monitoring and Analysis: Develop and leverage data analytics products to identify operational trends and facilitate informed decision-making. Own the relationship with the Data Team.

You Have

  • 10+ years of extensive experience in operations management, preferably within a research and development environment.
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field; advanced degree preferred.
  • Proven leadership skills with the ability to drive organizational change and inspire cross-functional teams.
  • Strong project and program management capabilities, including risk management and resource allocation.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to influence stakeholders at all levels, specifically at the executive level
  • Strategic mindset with a focus on continuous improvement and operational excellence.
  • Proficiency in data analysis and the ability to leverage technology to drive process improvements.

The Team

Reporting to Isaac Wong - EVP of Engineering

Isaac is responsible for the health of the engineering organization at Cockroach Labs. He partners closely with teams to ensure we have a balanced culture that promotes quality and innovation in pursuit of our goals. Before joining Cockroach Labs Isaac was in life sciences for 16 years with Medidata Solutions where he had a front row seat on the exciting ride from a 30 person startup to more than 2000 people worldwide. But the lure of distributed, resilient, and consistent SQL databases, along with the amazing technology and culture at Cockroach Labs proved too much. When not working he likes to draw, play the piano, and search NYC for cannoli's with his wife and kids.

Our Benefits

  • Competitive Health Insurance Coverage (for you & your dependents!)
  • Paid Parental Leave (with baby bucks)
  • Flexible PTO
  • Learning & Development Budget
  • Relocation Support (as applicable)

Cockroach Labs is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer building a diverse and inclusive workforce. If you need additional accommodations to feel comfortable during your interview process, please email us at

The annual anticipated base salary range for U.S. candidates for this role is USD $190,000 to $260,000, plus commission if a sales role. We set standard ranges for all U.S.-based roles based on function, level, and geographic location, benchmarked against similar stage growth companies. In order to be compliant with local legislation, as well as to provide greater transparency to candidates, we share salary ranges on all job postings regardless of desired hiring location. Actual salaries may vary and fall outside of this range depending on factors such as a candidate’s qualifications, geographic location, skills, experience, and competencies. In addition, we are often open to a wide variety of profiles, and recognize that the person we hire may be less experienced (or more senior) than this job description as posted. Salary is one component of the Cockroach Labs’ total rewards package, which includes stock options, health insurance, life and disability insurance, funds towards professional development resources, flexible PTO, paid holidays, and parental leave, to name a few! Salaries for candidates outside the U.S. will vary based on local compensation structures.