Senior Director, External Communications

South San Francisco, California
United States

Job ID: 3087851740

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The Position

Senior Director, External Communications
- reports to Vice President, Corporate Relations

Job Summary:
The Senior Director, External Communications, leads the strategic direction and oversight of external facing public relations including product and late-stage pipeline, public affairs (cross-portfolio product and policy issues), executive communications, corporate issues, and corporate brand and public relations. The Senior Director leads the creation of, and is the single decision maker for, the annual U.S. Media Strategy for these areas.  He/She prioritizes and drives the key milestones and issues that support and evolve the company’s brand and reputation. The Senior Director serves as a primary media spokesperson and external contact for Genentech with global and national media and trade outlets. He/She leads a large team (15+) of high-performing and creative public relations and brand professionals. He/She effectively coordinates with Internal Communications, Digital Strategy, Science Communications, and Corporate & Employee Giving on developing and communicating our overall Genentech corporate story. The Senior Director is a member of the Corporate Relations Leadership Team and the Roche global Pharma Communications Leadership Team.


Inspire a large team (15+) of high-performing, creative professionals, recruiting, developing and retaining people and ensuring a strong succession plan for key positions

Network effectively with all key business partners across the company in order to understand key milestones, issues and stories related to product, late-stage pipeline, corporate and local PR, and public affairs. Develop a bold and creative annual Genentech media and publishing strategy that supports corporate goals and enhances the company’s brand and reputation 

Counsel and influence senior management to ensure alignment with the corporate media, brand and publishing strategy and consistent company-wide messaging and public statements

Recognize and act on industry trends relevant to Genentech

Serve as a primary external spokesperson for Genentech and, as appropriate for global, for Roche

Lead the development and implementation of Genentech brand, creative strategies and business planning. Stay ahead of industry and broader communications trends to ensure the Genentech brand and its positioning internally and externally remains consistent, contemporary, highly relevant and engaging to all internal and external constituents

Ensure robust and systemic mechanisms are developed and deployed to measure results from external communications’ strategies, plans and tactics across the enterprise. Drive the adoption of best practices and opportunities for continued improvement

Ensure appropriate resources are obtained and maintained to execute all product and related corporate PR/communications strategies, plans and tactics

Contribute as a member of the Corporate Relations Leadership Team, ensuring strong coordination between External Communications, Science Communications, Internal Communications, Digital Strategy and Corporate and Employee Giving. Help develop and manage the overall Corporate Relations function, taking a leadership role in defining, developing and overseeing the execution of the Corporate Relations long-range vision, strategy, annual plan and objectives

Participate on the Pharma Communications Leadership Team representing North America and helping ensure alignment with overall communications 

Co-lead, with senior counterparts in Global Product Strategy and Group Media Relations based in Basel, Switzerland, the development and implementation of an annual unified global media strategy 

Who You Are

BS/BA required; advanced degree desirable
15+ years of experience, a mixture of agency and corporate preferred
5+ years of demonstrated people management experience
Biotech or pharma experience required
Strong understanding of evolving technology and communication platforms

To be successful the Senior Director, External Communications must have:
  • Demonstrated public relations and communication skills, with a particular focus on working and building relationships with top tier and trade reporters including formulating media pitches, pitching stories, managing positive and negative press, and driving for results
  • Strong understanding of evolving technology and communication platforms including digital and social
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal. Includes fluent English, strong storytelling and editorial skills. Highly effective at distilling complex and often voluminous content into clear, concise and engaging communications
  • Demonstrated experience of leading high performing and creative teams successfully; ability to attract and retain high caliber employees; ability to develop, coach and provide feedback to continuously improve performance of the team
  • Outstanding change management skills and a proven track record of effectively driving organizational change and innovation
  • The ability to think boldly and creatively and take calculated risks to help communicate to our key audiences using novel methods and channels. Knows how to use creative design effectively to enhance engagement in corporate programs 
  • Proficiency in decision making; understanding the broad context for decisions and taking accountability for the outcome
  • Comfort in navigating ambiguity and conflict while maintaining productive relationships
  • Significant executive presence. Has cultivated strong and trusting relationships with cross-functional partners and executive leaders. Operates effectively across the highest organizational levels
  • Outstanding collaboration and influencing skills: consistently extracts optimized business results through skillful collaboration with others

Who We Are

A member of the Roche Group, Genentech has been at the forefront of the biotechnology industry for more than 40 years, using human genetic information to develop novel medicines for serious and life-threatening diseases. Genentech has multiple therapies on the market for cancer & other serious illnesses. Please take this opportunity to learn about Genentech where we believe that our employees are our most important asset & are dedicated to remaining a great place to work.

The next step is yours. To apply today, click on the "Apply online" button.

Genentech is an equal opportunity employer & prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin/ancestry, age, disability, marital & veteran status. For more information about equal employment opportunity, visit our Genentech Careers page.

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