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Director of Purchasing

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, April 29, 2023

About The Role

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.

Based on site at Rocket Lab's headquarters in Long Beach, California, the Director of Purchasing will be responsible for building and managing our direct material purchasing team for our global operations. The purchasing team supports direct material purchasing for launch and space systems, from R&D and new product introduction through production ramp. We are growing fast, and our ideal candidate will have experience in building a high performing team. This role will report to the Vice President of Global Supply Chain.

What you’ll get to do:

  • Direct a team of managers accountable for purchasing and fulfillment of direct materials.
  • Responsible for the procure to pay process of direct materials, including purchase requisitions, purchase order creation and approval, on time delivery of goods, and clearing procurement issues that hold up invoice processing.
  • Accountable for developing purchasing strategy to meet Rocket Lab's cost, quality, and delivery goals.
  • Accountable for leading team of purchasing managers, commodity managers, and buyers to meet on-time fulfillment to production and engineering.
  • Responsible for sourcing, requests for quotes/proposals, contracting, negotiating strategy, and purchase order placement.
  • Negotiate pricing with suppliers to reduce total material cost.
  • Manage suppliers for cost, quality, and delivery.
  • Accountable for ensuring supplier master data within MRP is accurate.
  • Work in a cross functional team environment as a strong team player and demonstrate ability to work with other functional groups to achieve company-wide goals.
  • Other duties asked by your manager, relevant to your role.

You’ll bring these qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, supply chain, or other relevant fields
  • 12+ years of related experience in purchasing, with management experience in fast-paced environment
  • Proven ability to source, onboard, and contract pricing agreements with suppliers.
  • Proven ability to define team strategy and build operating plans to achieve vision and long-term goals.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally up to 20% of time.

These qualifications would be nice to have:

  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills, with the ability to prioritize effectively and efficiently.
  • Team oriented, strong ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced manufacturing environment and to multiple deadlines.
  • Prior experience in aerospace, EV automotive, or other disruptive manufacturing industries.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication abilities.
  • Proficient in SQL and MRP systems.
  • Experience in managing remote resources across multiple sites.
  • Prior experience in rapid growth environment.
  • Experience with AS9100, ITAR export controls, EAR, and FAR.
  • Experience in negotiating large contracts for facilities, IT, and large CapEx purchases.
The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the California Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience.

In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation offer package based on individual qualifications and experience, including company stock. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.
Base Pay Range (CA Only)
$166,000$195,000 USD

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations fromthe U.S Department of State.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant. These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality. For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.

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