Director of IT Global R&D
AbbVie - Lake County, IL

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AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott. AbbVie combines the focus and passion of a leading-edge biotech with the expertise and capabilities of a long-established pharmaceutical leader to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. In 2013, AbbVie will employ approximately 21,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.

The primary function of GPRD IT is to provide the strategy, direction, and management of IT systems and associated infrastructure for Abbvie’s Global R&D (GPRD) and Global Reg Affairs & Global Medical Services (GPRMS). The IT group works with all GPRD areas: Medical Affairs, Medical Services, Clinical Assessment, Drug Development Project Management, and Finance & Operations. The IT department provides business and technology consulting, IT project management, systems integration, planning, selection, implementation, support and ongoing information system operations with GPRD resources, Abbott and/or outside supplier organizations. The department’s purpose is to ensure that information technologies are developed and operate in the most productive and cost-effective manner over the long term.

This position directs the activities that have been centralized across the broader IT group for efficiency.

These functions include:
  • IT project management: staffing and oversight for 30-40 major IT capital projects comprising an average annual spend of $30MM
  • IT systems portfolio management: developing total cost of ownership processes, maintaining comprehensive technical system inventories, selecting and managing the application tracking software, and identifying and communicating improvements for application maintenance for 100+ systems supporting GPRD
  • Computer validation execution and strategy: staffing and managing a department of compliance subject matter experts to ensure global regulatory compliance for all GxP computer systems
  • Client support: primary IT support for GPRD’s Project Management organization
  • Portal: management and strategy for GPRD’s Portal and Collaboration initiatives
  • Strategic Planning: develops and maintains IT Strategy for the division
  • Architecture: manages a department of technical and data architects that establish system design processes and plans to assist in the streamlining of the division’s business processes. Direct the assignment of staff to projects with the purpose of developing solutions that support the architectural strategic direction.
This position requires frequent interaction with Group VP of IT, Division Vice Presidents, Directors and Functional Managers. This position holds a key role on the IT Governance Committee and participates in strategic decision making for the division including development of the IT Strategy Capital Plan and LRP. Close collaboration and coordination with multiple IT groups and vendors is required to identify synergies that foster business process improvements and opportunities to leverage investments across PPG. Stakeholders are internal and external to Abbvie.

Responsible for compliance with applicable corporate and divisional policies and procedures.

  • Conduct mangement review status meetings for the development, validation, and implementation of IT Systems worldwide to improve GPRD productivity and effectiveness
  • Track and publish project metrics
  • Understand client business processes and strategy and propose effective IT solutions to assist the client base of 4,000+ in achieving business objectives.
  • Stay abreast of new technologies and be able to develop IT strategies to leverage them for the benefit of R&D.
  • Information System planning including developing worldwide Systems' IT strategies consistent with the AbbVie IT strategy, short and long term IT plans including an assessment of information systems and computing neeeds of all functions and evaluation of future trends in IT that may impact functions. Work with other business needs while still maintaining overall corporate guidelines.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of federal regulations as they apply to the pharmaceutical IT systems and data. Deliver solutions that are compliant with current regulatory requirements and are able to withstand a rigorous FDA audit.
  • Maintain new technology projects to ensure projected benefits are realized.
  • Develop annual IT capital project budget through capital input.
  • Develop annual IT departmental expense budget.
  • Communicate to Division Management in all functional areas concerning objectives, plans, status updates and opportunities and prepare reports on project portfolio status.
  • Authorize training and development investments to ensure the staff is ensured to implement current amd emerging technologies. Develop core competencies in project management, business systems analysis, IT systems validation, Intranet support, and systems Architecture.

Reports to the DVP GPRD IT. Makes strategic decisions that impact multiple sites globally for 5,000+ client base. Collaborates on setting Enterprise-wide AbbVie IT strategy and policy. Responsible for successfully delivering upon a $30 MM annual IT project investment portfolio focused on reducing the R&D development cycle time and providing Abbott with a competitive advantage. Responsible for the regulatory compliance of new Divisional IT systems, the failure of which could delay AbbVie’s FDA filings for new products and indications, impact the success of clinical trials, and jeopardize AbbVie’s ability to produce and sell existing pharmaceutical products. Leads the development of annual IT plans and client project prioritization.

This position must properly understand R&D strategy as well as the nature of any existing business problems that may warrant IT solutions. The incumbent must be able to formulate alternatives and recommended solutions, and recognize, diagnose, and resolve issues among diverse global functional areas. This position requires the ability to interpret worldwide governmental regulations and ensure they are addressed throughout the project development process. The incumbent receives minimal direction from his manager, and must collaborate with other AbbVie resources as well as vendors in delivering on commitments.

This job could filled at a grade 21 depending on level and background of the candidate.

Bachelor's degree or equivalent, MBA or technical advanced degree preferred in Computer Science or a related discipline.

At least 8 years of work experience in an origanizational management capacity. Minimum of 8 years in IT and at least 6 years in systems analysis and applications program development (total combined experience 10-20 years). Requires an in-depth knowledge of the system development life cycle, the clients area's functions and systems, and application program development alternatives and at least 2 years managing and directing systems development of systems maintenance project teams, or a combination in education and work experience. Requires excellent communication skills as well as seasoned judgement, tact and the ability to work effectively with clients and other IT management managerial personnel.

Significant Work Activities and Conditions

Continuous sitting for prolonged periods ( more than 2 consecutive hours in an 8 hour day)

Job Classification






Primary Location


USA-Illinois-Lake County



PPG-Pharma Grp









Yes, 20 % of the Time

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