Product Development Manager, Containerboard - Richmond, VA

Richmond | Virginia | United States

About WestRock (NYSE: WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s 45,000 team members support customers around the world from more than 300 operating and business locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at

Product Development Manager, Containerboard - Richmond, VA

501 South 5th St
Richmond, Virginia, 23219-0501
United States

The Opportunity:

The  Product Development Manager – Containerboard reports to the VP-Quality & TSS and serves as the lead for containerboard innovation projects, guiding the effort from concept development through to commercialization.  This role is responsible for the research, design and development of new product offerings and related technologies for differentiated containerboard solutions, as well as the evaluation of paper-related technologies that support product innovation at the divisional level  The position will work closely with the segment Innovation team and follow the unified segment innovation process.

You will achieve this objective by: Managing projects approved through the segment stage gate process, staying abreast of industry technical advances, gathering market intelligence, controlling the ideation process relevant to containerboard, working with relevant sales and marketing teams, leading design/technology evaluation efforts as well as developing IP important to WestRock’s offerings and competitive position.

This is a hands-on role including the evaluation, testing and implementation of the latest design and technology solutions. This includes developing required workflows, articulating the market advantages, risk, and profitability of developing new products and technologies.  This role supports the new corrugated segment innovation process that is focused on EBITDA and differentiated revenue growth through innovation and the application of best in class technology solutions that serve our customers.

This role requires a strong technical background in the containerboard industry, along with a solid foundation in finance and business case development.

This position will work closely with the Director – Product Management, Containerboard.

How You Will Impact WestRock:

  • Define business requirements, lead the evaluation and development of new product offerings from concept through implementation.
  • Apply the Segment Stage Gate new product development process to development.
  • Support the ideation process through interface with relevant parties.
  • Evaluate and articulate ROI, EBITDA growth, differentiation, and risk factors such as capital investment, manufacturing capability, profitability, and scalability.  Support overall business case development processes
  • Develop workflow, project plans, proof of concept, coordinate prototype development, execute product validation trials and management reports required for the evaluation and adoption of new products and technologies.
  • Actively participate in product testing and the evaluation of new technologies
  • Participate on and at times lead customer facing teams to understand the critical business needs of our customers.
  • Lead the initial adoption of new products or technologies to ensure successful implementation.
  • Research, track and communicate industry trends, best practices, and competitive service offerings to identify opportunities for growth, innovation, increased market share, and competitive advantage.

What You Need to Succeed:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  A relevant science degree would also be considered when supported by relevant industry experience.
  • At least 10 years of experience in the containerboard industry, preferably in a manufacturing or process engineering role.  Prior work experience specifically in  research and development, innovation management, manufacturing, or technical sales would also be important.
  • An MBA or a minor in finance would be viewed favorably.
  • Have the initiative, resourcefulness, and/or requisite experience to match or manage the development of technical solutions to our customer needs or opportunities through an understanding of the customer’s business objectives.
  • Ability to clearly understand WestRock’s internal and external customer’s needs and clearly interpret and communicate them within the company operation.
  • Analytical ability to compile data and generate descriptive analysis, executive summaries, trial reports and other communication related materials.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills and the ability to create compelling written and presentation materials using MS Office programs.
  • A hands-on technologist that is equally comfortable working individually, leading cross-functional teams who is also able to build strong relationships with WestRock’s manufacturing, sales organization and customers.
  • Maintains a safe and clean working environment by following procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Ability to travel up to 50%.
  • Additional language skills in French or Spanish would be a positive.


WestRock Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce: Minorities/Females/ Disabled/Veterans.


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