Vice President for Research & Development

Cutting-edge technology and leadership combined! Are you our new VP for R&D? - Join us and make a difference!

At Westermo quality is everything – the products, the people and the organization.

Welcome to a rapidly growing international company, thriving at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Westermo develops and manufactures advanced devices for industrial data communication, used in mission critical installations and harsh industrial environments. The very robust and secure communication networks built with our products provide high value for our customers.

We are passionate about taking advantage of the growth opportunities in our market. The work environment is very dynamic. Our people are dedicated and loyal, which create a fantastic team spirit. Everyone is expected to take initiative and our flat organization creates efficiency and provides opportunities for those who are closest to the task of solving it. We are devoted to delivering the best industrial network solutions. At Westermo you will have a clear impact on the results of your area of responsibility.  

About Westermo Network Technologies

Westermo is a leading supplier of highly robust Industrial Data Communications equipment to the World market. Our products are used in mission critical installations and harsh industrial environments across many different industries. Our key customer segments are Rail (on-board and trackside), Electric utilities, Water & Wastewater, Process automation and Traffic management. Sales are conducted through our own sales offices in key markets in Europe, North America and Asia, as well as through distributors and OEM customers worldwide. Around 90% of our sales is outside of Sweden. Our R&D team, product management, central sales and some other functions are located in Västerås and we have our own manufacturing site in Stora Sundby outside Eskilstuna.  In 2019 we acquired a Swiss company; Neratec AG, and a Dublin-based company, Virtual Access to further expand our portfolio in industrial networks. Westermo was founded in 1975 and has a turnover around 800 MSEK. We are currently around 350 employees. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijer Electronics Group AB, which is a listed company on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange.

Our competitive edge is built on our very high-quality standards – our products are the most robust ones available on the market. We achieve this high quality by being in control of our whole value chain – and we never make compromises when it comes to being true to specifications, choosing the most robust solutions and taking software testing to the highest level, to mention a few examples.

We have a strong foundation to build on. Our challenges in the coming years are to keep growing and adjusting our processes and our organization to the larger size company we are becoming. We need to make sure we deliver a solid customer experience in all aspects of the customer relationship, including product portfolio, customer support, delivery performance, technical advice, web interface etc.

The Westermo company culture is characterized by a strong belief in what we do – combined with results and solutions orientation, a “family” atmosphere and a strong engineering tradition.

Going forward, we need to be more agile, driving change in all areas, and challenge our business models and ways of working. This requires strong leadership so that our people understand where we are going and why, so they can contribute in the best possible way.

Are you our new Vice President Research & Development?

Our R&D function is built on three pillars; Software development including test, Hardware development and Project Management. Most of the work is done in-house and this includes the following tasks: SW development, SW test, HW design and layout, Mechanical design, Type testing, Production test development, Project management. R&D work very close to our team in Operations. All prototypes are being manufactured in house. All system needed for quality assurance in Operations are being developed by R&D. 

Our software team consist of talented software engineers developing our own Linux based operating system WeOS as well as our appreciated network configuration tool WeConfig. The department also consists of resources managing the development of our software regression test framework, including creating new test systems for new products and features.

Always striving for industry-leading robustness and performance, our committed hardware team has a wide variety of skills within hardware engineering, such as electronics design, type test, mechanical design and production test development.

Our team of project managers keep an eye on the overall progress and makes sure that we work together efficiently to achieve our common goals. Here we have expertise for both software project management and product development, which includes all parts from electronics design to production in series volume.

As Vice President for Research & Development at Westermo, you are responsible for product development, customer specific development projects, new technologies & pre-studies, and ownership, as well as maintenance, of all existing products. You have 8 direct reports (line managers and system architects) and a total staff of around 60 people. You report to the CEO and is part of the Westermo management team. Location for this role is in Kopparlunden, Västerås.

Current situation R&D function

Every year we spend approximately 15% of our turnover on R&D. This is something we are extremely proud of and we plan to continue on this level.  We are also very proud of our knowledgeable people. As all technology leaders our success is dependent on the success of our employees.

Westermo has been growing significantly the last 10 years. This has been a great growth journey, but with growth some pains usually follow. In R&D we have been suffering from long project lead times, poor predictability and sometimes painful industrialization processes of new products. In our R&D strategy one important challenge is to find ways to shorten our time to market.

Another challenge that we together with many other companies in the business are facing is the ability to predict the execution of our very complex R&D projects. This is our second important area of improvement. 

The third major target for R&D is to actively participate in a major shift in busines model where we want to earn revenues more explicitly from software development. This is embedded in our product price today, but we want to gradually move to a more software centric business model.

Other areas where we will focus in the next coming years is to support operations and improve our design for manufacturing, as well as strengthen our already close cooperation with key component suppliers. 

What you’ll be working with and responsible for:

Your task is to significantly lift Westermo’s R&D performance in terms of time-to-market, predictability in R&D projects, quality, risk mitigation and to ensure that we keep our position as leader in our field. 

As VP for Research & Development at Westermo you will actively contribute as an important part of the Westermo Management team, but you will also lead your R&D Management team with a clear goal and with a spirit of teamwork. You are also responsible for developing each team in your function to achieve operational excellence.

The product development process starts with the customer requirements and our Product management function is responsible for the product roadmap. Working closely with the Product management team is therefore very important.

In your responsibility is of course also normal managerial duties such as budgeting and financial follow up, performance management, competency management, capacity planning, drive continuous improvements, coaching your direct reports and prioritize, ensure high health and safety standards and be a role model in business ethics. We hope that your leadership will make more time for your team to be productive. 

So, who are we looking for?

To be successful in this role the following criteria would be required and/or desired: 

• University qualification in Engineering
• Minimum 5 years’ experience in a similar role
• Developed and successfully implemented R&D strategies for product development and project execution
• Experienced leader in an international environment
• Experience from a management team in a mid-size company or part of a divisional management team in a large company
• Experience from software development is desirable
• Project management skills

Personal characteristics

• An active and constructive leader as well as good team player
• A structured person with a systematic approach to improvement projects
• Self-motivated, have a strong drive and you are comfortable with making decisions
• Excellent in communication (Swedish and English) as well as good collaboration skills.
• Customer focused – managing the R&D function to enhance and support the customer experience 
• Ability to create a structure for improvement and visualize progress
• Well-structured but with a flexible approach to problem solving and determination to overcome obstacles
• Good relationship builder
• Able to deal with complex issues
• Must have an International outlook
• Can work under pressure and deliver to deadlines, can keep calm and hold a steady course even in challenging times
• Good motivator and team builder.
• Result and objective driven
• Hands on practical approach to Management

In return, we offer:
Great opportunities for personal development, motivated and competent colleagues, mature and caring leadership, good coverage through our collective bargain agreement and challenging work. With our focus on a healthy and fun workplace with several regular company and team activities, we offer an environment where you can perform and enjoy!

And we actually live our company values!

Basic information:
Location: Kopparlunden, Västerås
Job type: Full time
Employment contract: Regular
Expected starting date: Aug 1, 2021
Last day to apply: March 15, 2021 (we reserve the right to close the recruitment process earlier, if the perfect candidate appears)


Don’t miss out on this opportunity – apply today! We look forward to meeting you!

For further information please contact:
Hiring Manager: CEO Jenny Sjödahl, 072-589 60 80
or VP Human Resources: Linda Kärreby, 070-221 70 30 

Robust industrial data communications - Made easy

Westermo is a leading supplier of Industrial Data Communications equipment to the World market. Sales are conducted through our own offices in key markets in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia, as well as through distributors and OEM customers worldwide. Development and manufacturing take place in Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland. Westermo was founded in 1975 and has today more than 350 employees with a turnover around 800 MSEK. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijer Electronics AB, listed on the stock exchange.

Or, know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!

Västerås, Sweden

Westermo Network Technologies
721 30 Västerås Directions +46 16 42 80 00 View page

We are

  • Quality in everything we do – the people, the organisation and the products
  • Competent, ambitious and dedicated
  • Geeks and experts
  • Proud of our team spirit!

    Already working at Westermo?

    Let’s recruit together and find your next colleague.

    • Andreas Eriksson
    • Christian Poljén
    • Erik Danielsson
    • Fredrik Hagström
    • Henrik Envall
    • Jenny Sjödahl
    • Johan Inestam
    • Jonas Nylander
    • Lars Wikström
    • Linda Kärreby

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