Director of Operations, Cape Town

Watchmaker Genomics

Watchmaker Genomics

Cape Town, South Africa
Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Position Description:

Watchmaker is inviting applications for the full-time position of Director of Operations based in Cape Town, South Africa.

This position reports to the Vice President of Operations and will be responsible for leading and managing the Operations teams in Cape Town, including procurement, manufacturing, quality control, formulation, filling and distribution. This individual will be accountable for developing and implementing strategies and goals across the Operation, leading teams, developing and adhering to departmental budgets and managing daily departmental activities. This position will be a member of the Cape Town site leadership team.

The successful candidate will thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced working environment and contribute directly to our company culture and success. The position provides an opportunity to grow and develop as an Operations leader.

NOTE: the employee shall not be a Director in terms of the South African Companies Act (note, that a senior employee may nevertheless be a 'prescribed offer' depending on his duties which would impose certain obligations in terms of the Companies Act).


  • Participate with senior management in developing and establishing goals and objectives to support robust manufacturing processes and continuous process improvement at the Cape Town site
  • Provide strong leadership and guidance to department managers and the broader operations team
  • Maintain compliance with Quality Assurance and ISO 13485 requirements
  • Support both manufacturing and facilities activities related to executing Watchmakers global manufacturing strategy
  • Support People and Culture in hiring operations staff to support manufacturing activities in Cape Town
  • Ensure all safety and health standards are met at the Cape Town site
  • Communicate regularly with upper management regarding problems or issues impacting production
  • Evaluate resources to ensure continued production and minimal downtime
  • Establish a balance between increased productivity and reduced costs of manufacturing operations
  • Tracks KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure and support quality objectives, supply chain, and department goals
  • Actively manages inventory requirements
  • Responds to and escalates operational, process, equipment and maintenance problems to the VP of Operations to prevent operational upsets
  • Participates in financial management (P&L) of the Operations Department, through development and monitoring of departmental budgets and inventory control
  • Supports the process development team in the formalization of work instructions, and transfer to the Production Team
  • Drives manufacturing troubleshooting and escalates issues to the appropriate Subject Matter Expert (SME) when needed
  • Possesses proficient technical understanding of manufacturing methods and ability to carry-out product manufacturing as needed
  • Promotes and cultivates a culture of operational excellence, execution, and quality
  • Supports the career development of direct reports through active mentorship.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned

Skills and Requirements

The candidate should have at minimum a BS in molecular biology, biochemistry, or a related discipline (MS/MBA preferred), with at least ten years of relevant industry experience in an operational, or manufacturing leadership role. Broad technical knowledge of life science reagents, enzyme production, or genomics is a plus.

The following skills and experience are requirements for the position:

  • Exceptional leadership and cross-functional team-building skills
  • Excellent business judgment and strategic thinking with strong problem solving skills
  • Strong knowledge of quality management systems and related standards, including but not limited to ISO quality standards (ISO 13485; 2016)
  • Skilled at building and managing schedules, timelines, and resource allocation
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to read, write, and edit technical documents


  • An undergraduate degree / Bachelors Degree in a relevant life science discipline is required; an advanced degree (MS/MBA) preferred
  • Minimum of (10+) years in biotech or related industry, including positions with broad functional scope across manufacturing, quality, and project management

Application Procedure

To apply for the position, please submit the following in a PDF format on Indeed Link

  • Letter of motivation
  • Resume or Curriculum vitae, highlighting relevant qualifications and experience

Applications without a Letter of Motivation will not be considered. Local candidates preferred.

If selected to participate in the interview process, the names and contact information of three professional references who are able to assess your suitability for the position in terms of the specified requirements will be requested.



Watchmaker Genomics is committed to being an equal opportunity employer and creating a culturally diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability status, age, or veteran status or any other characteristics as protected by applicable law.

All applicants will be asked if currently eligible to work in South Africa; and if now or in the future will require visa sponsorship to continue working in South Africa.

This position may be subject to pre-employment checks, including driving history check, drug screening and a background check for any convictions directly related to its duties and responsibilities. All pre-employment checks will comply with all applicable laws.