Head of Category Development




As Dyson grows it becomes more complex: more categories, more countries, more technologies and more routes to market. As complexity increases, so does the need for strategy. Over the next phase of its growth Dyson will face some significant decisions about the direction it should take and how to best allocate resources.


This role provides a unique opportunity to contribute to setting the longer term agenda and identifying our response to key issues facing the company. Dealing with questions that impact right across the business, the role holder will gain real insight and hands on experience of the development of mid to long term strategy. The activities involved in the role will be varied. As well as analysis, research, modeling and support, the role holder will also be involved in the development and facilitation of plans to implement specific areas of strategic focus.

Market Overview

Home to our global Research, Design and Development centre and all of our Commercial functions, Dyson HQ is tucked away in countryside famous for the railway tunnels and bridges of Isambard Brunel, who revolutionised modern engineering. Our secluded location helps us to protect our ideas and stay independent-minded. Yet nearby are the fashionable cities of Bristol and Bath (where a young James Dyson invented cyclone technology).

The building is the heartbeat of Dyson. Over 1,500 people, including James himself, spend their days strategizing, inventing technology and telling the Dyson story to the world. From 2016, our HQ will begin doubling its footprint with an ambitious new expansion.

Function Overview

At Dyson we are encouraged to think differently, challenge convention and be unafraid to make mistakes. We’re creative, collaborative, practical and enthusiastic. But most of all we’re hugely passionate about what we do.

Dyson offers a unique opportunity for talented individuals who wish to invent, design and develop leading products for the global market. By working in our world class Research Design and Development department, these individuals have the opportunity to work alongside leading technical specialists and highly motivated creative people, to produce products which fulfill our ambition of being truly different and better than our competitors.


Manage the Strategic Planning Process for the Category

  • Take a longer term perspective, approx. 5 years ahead

  • Create and analyse strategic alternatives and stress/scenario test them

  • Guide the category to make trades-offs / choices for investment, participation and ways of winning

  • Derive the short- and medium-term priority actions that take the category towards its long-term goals

  • Work with the Global Category Director to create the strategy blueprint and ensure it is communicated in an effective and engaging way

  • Collaborate with Upstream on product ideas and technology

  • Model the potential scale of future technology & product directions

  • Collate business plans

  • Concise and effective communication and presentation

Personal Care & Product Support

  •  Work with the Dyson Strategy, Research and NPI teams to be the category strategy counterpart to new product developments

  • For new product ideas develop the business case and go to market options

  • Provide support for the development of category and product strategy

  • Build strong relationship with key stakeholders across the business including Finance & Commercial

  • Drive specific initiatives over category development cross functionally to improve efficiency on a global scale

  • Be able to report to the Exec on category initiatives

Lead and manage strategic projects from across the category’s blueprint

  • Structuring the challenge and prioritising activities / elements

  • Proactive leadership - making the project happen

  • Cross functional management - deliver via influence

  • Delivering some of the content - data collection, research, analysis

  • Building consensus

  • Presentation and communication

Contribute to the development of strategy knowledge base and best practice


Skills / Experience required

  • Educated to degree level; possibly with additional post-graduate qualification (including MBA)

  • Able to confidently model and analyse finances related to investment decisions. A sound background in finance, strategy or alternative experience that demonstrates this aptitude would be useful.

  • Experience within Engineering or Technology desirable.

  • Strong applied thinking ability

  • Strong ability to influence others and build effective working relationships

  • Strong leadership skills

Key competencies

Whilst the successful candidate should demonstrate all Dyson behaviours, they should have particular strengths in the following:

  • SHREWD: Making the right decisions; Disciplined and long term commercial thinking

  • EXPLORER: Being curious, diverse and inclusive. Global minded, collaborative, appreciates diversity and wrong thinkers, managing x- functions, boundaries and geographies

  • INGENIOUS: Getting the answer by thinking hard - detail and patterns. Empirical, disciplined problem solver, connecting dots - black swans, crazy connections, love of how stuff works

The successful candidate must also have proven capability in these key competences:

  • Thinks business: Genuinely interested in getting under the skin of how the business model operates. Has at good understanding of the core concepts that make for a successful operating model

  • Strong analytical skills: Capable of logically de-constructing an issue or problem. Able to handle large data sets and provide quick, timely analysis in keeping with demanding time pressures for strategy projects

  • Detail AND big picture. A ruthless eye for detail but at the same time, knowing where detail is most important and which factors are key drivers

  • Results orientation: Adept at delivering on time and to a high standard in an environment lacking rigid structures or processes. Able to independently work through ambiguity and around constraints. Develops thoughtful but pragmatic solutions

  • Open and collaborative: Works well with cross functional teams to deliver against priorities. Personable and open style. Engages easily with external and internal colleagues, across different cultures and capabilities. Develops solutions that have the buy in of the relevant business areas

  • Persistent, challenging approach: Confident and skilled to challenge current working assumptions of others. Able to constructively question, present arguments and evidence, and influence others to revise their views.

  • Effective communicator: Confident and credible when working with the entire range of people right across the business. Concise and articulate in communicating analysis and evidence, both written and verbally.

  • Flexible: Will enjoy the challenge, of getting involved in a range of activities as priorities and requirements evolve. Equally happy and capable working independently on analysis or taking a more facilitative/leading role with others when needed

  • Technically savvy: Whilst not a technical expert, the role holder must have the ability to grasp a range of different technologies to a level which allows them to understand the major issues within strategic challenges and opportunities within technology projects. Must be willing to ask questions when not sure of technical elements

Benefits Overview

Dyson monitors the market to ensure competitive salaries and pension contributions. Beyond that, you’ll also enjoy a profit-related bonus, generous leave and life insurance. But financial benefits are only the start of a Dyson career. Rapid professional growth, leadership development and new opportunities abound, driven by regular reviews and dynamic workshops. And with a vibrant culture, flexible working hours, the latest devices and a relaxed dress code reflecting our engineering spirit, it’s an exciting team environment geared to creativity, innovation and ambition.

Posted: 17-Aug-2017

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