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Date posted:  Nov 12, 2020

Berlin, BE, DE Zaventem, Flemish-Brabant, BE Milano, Milan, IT Madrid, M, ES Oslo, NO

Job Function:  Information Technology
Job Type:  Permanent
Job Requisition ID:  4463

CTO - Open Data Exchange

About the Unit


For over a century, Yara has worked to feed the world and protect the planet, and our mission is to do so in a responsible and sustainable way. Yara Farming Solutions will lead the transformation towards more sustainable and efficient food production through innovative approaches in digital farming and agricultural transparency that lead to the overall reduction of the carbon footprint of crop nutrition. 

Over the past decade, the agriculture industry has witnessed a dramatic surge in investment towards the digitization of farming by large incumbents, tech multinationals and innovative start-ups across the world. This development has caused the proliferation of data-based services aimed at improving farmers productivity and agricultural efficiency at large. However, to this date no company has achieved the sufficient depth and breadth of information required to offer really transformative, field-specific services, and many challenges prohibit farm and field data sharing at scale. Overcoming these challenges requires a truly collaborative, industry-wide approach for data management. In this context, Yara have issued a “call for action” to bring together institutions from across the world and jointly build an Open Farm and Field Data Exchange (from now on: “ODX” or “Platform”), modelled along the lines of similar data sharing schemes that have emerged in other industries recently.



This crucial, new, senior position can be based in Europe, South America or the US, and reports to the VP Open Farm & Field Data Exchange.  The future organizational setup may be adjusted depending on the evolution of the initiative, its governance and legal form.

You will be a core member of the leadership team at ODX and will be fully accountable for taking the leadership of the technology implementation road-map for the Platform and for defining and running the CTO-Office organization.  You will be responsible for ODX’s architecture realization and product and services portfolio roadmap.  You will also provide guidance and counselling to ODX’s Executive Leadership Team, as well as future participants, partners and investors, working closely with senior business & technology leaders to define and implement the Platform’s vision, strategies, and goals.


Key responsibilities will include:

  • Leading the office of the CTO Function of ODX, ensuring a technology strategy aligned with the business objectives is in place
  • Acting as thought partner with Farming Solutions and ODX leadership team to ensure maximum value generation and distinctive delivery for core customers / platform participants
  • Owning the technology roadmap, architecture, technology portfolio and related investments decisions
  • Partnering with key stakeholders, to drive an innovation ecosystem and create entrepreneurial agility and effectiveness in support of ODX’s strategy
  • Monitoring the technology landscape and identifying relevant technology trends and innovations across the ag and food industries to be adopted by ODX
  • Managing resources effectively to rapidly deploying efficient and effective technology to market that will drive ODX’s growth targets


  • Substantial experience in a similar CTO or Director of Technology Services role in leading, high-performing technology organizations such as ag-tech start-ups or digital farming units within agri-industry leaders
  • Exceptional understanding of how to build and manage complex data sharing platforms that can help customers to solve business problems.
  • Substantial experience engaging at an executive level with business leaders and forming strong relationship with key peers, including ODX’s Chief Data Officer, to get results
  • Experience of building relationships with external partners and working in tandem towards a common vision
  • Track-record of delivering outcomes and adherence to quality KPIs (using agile and complex multi-release approaches).  Proven ability to manage and prioritize a portfolio of initiatives and projects linked to business strategy.
  • Strong sector knowledge of the ag-food sectors and significant leadership experience and performance management of technical resources
  • Solid understanding of organizational design and the ability to shape and drive large-scale, cross-functional, multi-level programs around people, technology, processes, and tools–balancing long-term strategy with quick wins
  • Evidence of defining operating models, identifying and attracting talent, and building successful customer-focused, innovative teams
  • Commercially aware and can demonstrate ownership and management of significant budgets to drive business cases and technology investment proposals. 
  • Strong entrepreneurial mindset, ideally from experience in innovation and new product / business development.  Adaptable in approach.
  • Respectful and trusted leadership style, positive and energetic attitude, good interpersonal skills



Additional Information

The recruitment process will be managed by Korn Ferry, and by submitting your application you acknowledge and confirm that your application details can be shared with them.  Korn Ferry will manage your data according to their privacy policy (https://www.kornferry.com/privacy) and Data Processing Agreement entered  into with Yara.

Knowledge Grows Through Differences:

Yara is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We believe that creating a diverse and inclusive work environment is not only the right thing, but also the smart thing to do. To deliver on this, Yara has firmly anchored Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) as one of our top 7 strategic actions and has more than 400 employees worldwide involved in D&I ambassador networks.


Contact details

For more information please contact Graeme.McFarlane@KornFerry.com

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