Operations Director

Location Tokyo
Discipline Marketing
Job type Permanent
Reference 40152


As Director of Operations serve as a key member of the agency leadership team and the primary champion of the agency’s practices and procedures to ensure the agency works as one. This individual is responsible for management of the operations team inclusive of direct supervision of the department managers, providing mentorship and developing succession plans for the operations employees. This position encompasses three key areas – practices and procedures, profitability, and staffing.


Agency Operations

  • Develops, implements and maintains agency operating procedures; introduces new processes and improvements as appropriate and ensures staff is trained

  • Helps build the business case for incremental new hires; works with Finance and HR to obtain approvals for new headcounts

  • Champion of the agency’s Practices and Procedures; enforces agency policies to help ensure compliance

  • As a key person in agency, demonstrates knowledge of all network resources and ability to leverage resources to offer solutions to project management challenge

  • Participates in new business development; works with internal team to develop responses to RFPs by providing strategic insight and potential solutions to meet client needs

  • Develops weekly staffing plan to ensure appropriate allocation; authorizes freelance hiring and collaborates with discipline heads, human resources, and outside agencies to recruit freelance staff

  • Ensures proper staffing coverage throughout the agency—balancing workload and staff vacation schedules, deploying agency resources

  • Implements new ideas and practices, as well as staff training, to promote greater efficiency and keep the skill set of the agency current/ahead of the technological curve

  • Develops agency and client orientations geared to process and best practices

  • Monitors for changing client needs with regard to processes, schedules, specifications, and tool set; works with other disciplines to ensure team and client keep common goals and expectations

  • Agency liaison with Finance, HR, and IT

Financial Management

  • Works closely with the Finance Director to execute the following responsibilities;

  • Provides financial oversight of all projects and agency P&L to ensure that profit objectives are achieved

  • Forecasts revenue, develops and monitors booked and forecasted business reports, manages freelance budget

  • Ensures appropriate client approvals are in place to bill projects and begin work (estimate signoffs, client POs, SOWs etc.)

  • Reviews and approves all AOR SOWs generated by the agency


  • Ensures that both long-term planning and day-to-day activities of Operations group is aligned with the company’s goals and objectives

  • Works in collaboration with other agency department heads, and keeps senior management briefed on activities and developments within Operations

  • Supervises the work of the Operations department managers. This includes training, evaluating their work, and monitoring efficiency and quality control to ensure that work is executed accurately and meets the highest possible standards

  • Interviews and hires key managers within Operations, and approves all hires within the group, in conjunction with the Human Resources department

  • Participates in the development of the annual business plan

Performance Standards

  • Demonstrates superb leadership skills in working with clients, colleagues, and staff

  • Ensure seamless management of the operations team

  • Committed to balancing the dual objectives of (1) excellence in client delivery and (2) optimizing the financial performance of the agency

  • Presents new initiatives to better utilize resources while eliminating inefficiencies

  • Establishes and maintains strong relationships with all key clients personnel across all levels

  • Displays professional conduct in alignment with agency values Background/experience and skills



  • 10 + years of agency or comparable outside experience

  • Business level Japanese & English is required.

  • Background in pharmaceutical advertising is strongly preferred

  • Supervisory experience required

  • Experience in key areas of operations such as Project Management, Resource Management, Production, and Editorial

  • Proficiency with MS Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Project is required