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Head of People

Orca Bio

Orca Bio

People & HR
Menlo Park, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2023
More than one million people in the United States today are fighting blood cancer. While a traditional allogeneic stem cell transplant has been the best hope for many, the transplant itself can prove fatal or lead to serious conditions, such as graft vs. host disease. Orca Bio is a late-stage biotechnology company redefining the transplant process by developing next-generation cell therapies with the goal of providing significantly better survival rates with dramatically fewer risks. With our purified, high-precision investigational cell therapies we hope to not only replace patients' blood and immune systems with healthy ones, but also restore their lives.
We are looking for an adaptable and innovative leader who can develop, lead and formalize strategic HR programs to help us evolve and retain our unique culture as we grow. You will be primarily based out of our Menlo Park, CA office (3-4x per week) with occasional travel to our manufacturing facilities in Sacramento (~1x per month).


  • Develop and implement innovative HR strategies aligned with organizational goals.
  • Drive organizational effectiveness and employee engagement initiatives.
  • Partner with the team to design and lead implementation of cutting-edge HR programs, including real-time feedback, career ladders, and compensation frameworks (i.e., Total Rewards).
  • Provide strategic consultation to enhance employee performance and engagement.
  • Manage employee relations with sensitivity and compliance.
  • Collaborate with internal teams for a seamless employee experience.
  • Offer data-driven recommendations for performance improvement.
  • Partner with the team to define talent planning processes, including succession planning and leadership development.
  • Establish policies for training, onboarding, career development, and termination.
  • Stay abreast of HR trends, regulatory changes, and new technologies, including oversight of internal HR systems/operations.
  • Provide executive coaching to our leadership team.


  • 10+ years of progressive HR management experience.
  • Experience in a Life Science company is preferred.
  • Prior experience as an HR partner for a manufacturing (non-exempt) workforce preferred.
  • Fluency in coaching senior leadership on complex people issues.
  • Strategic competency, with a focus on developing and educating managers and leaders.
  • Strong knowledge of HR compliance, legislation, and best practices.
  • Experience in a rapid growth or start-up environment preferred, building and sustaining a positive culture.
  • Experience designing and implementing exceptional HR frameworks (e.g., de-centralized organizational structure).
  • Genuine curiosity, open-mindedness and a strong desire for continuous learning.
  • Sense of humor, patience and passion for people.
  • Bachelor's degree in HR, Business Administration, Psychology, or related field (Master's preferred).

Essential Skills

  • Ability to “zoom in” as a hands-on, detail-oriented contributor and “zoom out” as a strategic thought leader in an environment with limited resources.
  • Lead strategic and transactional change.
  • Build and maintain trust across all organizational levels.
  • Demonstrate organizational leadership and decision-making at the senior management level.
  • Communicate the impact of HR policies and procedures to staff.
  • Ability to use data to influence and drive decision making.
  • Work independently with strong initiative and analytical abilities.
  • Adapt to a fast-paced environment with flexibility.
  • Excellent interpersonal, negotiating, and communication skills.
  • Maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive matters appropriately.
  • Strong organizational and multitasking abilities.
  • Regular on-site attendance with a commitment to meeting deadlines.
The anticipated annual salary range for this job is $150,000– $275,000, based on prior experience in the role/industry, education, location, internal equity, and other job-related factors as permitted by law. For remote-based candidates, this range may vary based on your local market. You will also be eligible to receive pre-IPO equity, in addition to medical, dental, and vision benefits, flexible PTO, 401(k) plan, life and accidental death and disability coverage, and parental leave benefits. Other perks include free daily lunches and snacks at our on-site locations.
Who we are
We are driven by a passion for science and compassion for patients. We act with urgency to ensure our treatments are one day accessible to all who need them.
We live by our core values of passion, courage, and integrity. Excellence in our work means the chance to unlock a better quality of life for our patients, and with that comes tremendous responsibility.
We innovate on a path that hasn’t been paved. We embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and take calculated risks to achieve our mission. We aren’t afraid to ask “why not” and challenge the status quo.
We maintain a start-up culture of camaraderie and leadership by example, regardless of title.
We’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and recognize that celebrating our differences creates stronger, lasting solutions that better serve our team, our patients and their healthcare providers.
Notice to staffing firms
Orca Bio does not accept resumes from staffing agencies with which we do not have a written agreement and specific engagement for a particular opening. Our employment activities, inquiries and offers are managed through our HR/Talent team, and all candidates are presented through this channel only. We do not accept unsolicited resumes, and we rarely outsource recruitment.