VP of People

Emeryville, CA /
People – People Team /
Full Time - Exempt
Company Profile
MycoWorks is the biotechnology company that produces Reishi™, a Fine Mycelium™option for leather that is neither animal nor plastic. We are currently shipping product to brand partners in fashion, and we are backed by some of the leading venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to benefit the world with new materials that offer superior performance to animal leathers and plastic. As a team, we are data-driven in our commitment to quality, and we strive for transparency, empathy and thriving in the relationships we’re building with customers, partners and each other.

MycoWorks is committed to building a diverse team and an inclusive environment where all employees belong. Women, gender non-confirming individuals, people of color, individuals with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

MycoWorks is seeking a dynamic VP of People to direct the company’s strategic organizational growth and to lead a forward-thinking, trusted and well-rounded People department that operationalizes company values as we scale. Reporting to the CEO and working in close partnership with the executive leadership team, the VP of People Operations will establish the foundation and systems for a high-performance, employee-focused culture. The core function is to build a broad-based People support system, including strategic organizational planning, learning and development programs, performance and employee relations management, full-cycle recruiting and more. The ideal candidate is a people and outcomes-focused leader with outstanding EQ who is passionate about our vision, inspired by our unique team, and who uses data to strategically leverage HR systems to optimize organizational success. Our team includes engineers, scientists, production line workers, artists and designers, so the ideal candidate brings intersectional awareness, compassion and exceptional emotional intelligence to all policy development and communications. 


    • The functions and duties described below may not be the only requirements of the position. It will be necessary to follow other instructions and perform other duties as required.
    • Provide comprehensive and strategic people leadership and business partnership in a fast-paced, venture-backed biomaterials manufacturing start-up organization
    • Create and maintain People Operations Dashboard to track department KPIs and milestone progress
    • Oversee day-to-day operations of the People Ops function, with accountability for team growth and success and balancing strategic leadership with tactical/operational responsibilities.
    • Optimize the team and process for recruiting, including team structure, recruiting KPIs and their continuous improvement to drive growth strategy.
    • Develop and manage a competitive compensation program through regular market analysis, design pay and equity structures that integrate with performance review cycles and employee progression paths.
    • Design and lead implementation of programs, processes and policies that drive cross-functional collaboration, employee engagement and satisfaction, and strong business results, including:
    • Compliance oversight
    • Employee benefits management
    • Full cycle recruiting
    • Performance management and compensation
    • Employee relations
    • Workers compensation and Safety
    • Educate, advise and influence on organizational design, employee development, employee engagement and retention, performance criteria and measurement, talent reviews, and change management.
    • Prioritize Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in recruiting, hiring, employee development and policies.
    • Lead as a coach at all levels, from strategic advising to company founders and leadership team, to mentorship of new employees
    • Lead Learning and Development programs to prepare employees for more significant responsibilities as the company grows and scales.
    • Supervise and work closely with People Operations Generalist to provide support across all functional areas.
    • Identify strategic hires to expand the People team in alignment with prioritized functions at each stage of company growth.
    • This position reports to the CEO and partners with the executive leadership team.

Required Skills and Experience

    • Expertise in partnering with chief executives in scaling a fast-paced, early-stage technology-based company, including leading people functions through scale-up and implementing HR systems from scratch and for scale.
    • Minimum of 15 years People management, including broad-based HR experience across identified functional areas: preferably in biotechnology and/or venture-backed technology environments.
    • Thorough understanding of People policies, programs, labor laws, and precedents in relation to regulatory compliance.
    • Proven ability to lead strategic staffing planning process with the leadership team to anticipate department-specific and organization-wide tactical and strategic objectives, identify gaps/weaknesses, and reach appropriate hiring/staffing solutions
    • Experience building systems for and with a highly interdisciplinary team that includes engineering and scientific senior staff, as well as manufacturing professionals and technicians.
    • Experience establishing relationships as a trusted advisor with the highest degree of integrity, exercising confidentiality and good judgment in complex and sensitive situations.
    • Ability to manage a complex set of stakeholders and advocate change through influence, data, and a rigorous approach to understanding company identity and objectives, rather than assertion of authority.
    • Comfortable rolling up your sleeves to get things done, and educating and leading the leadership team in developing a People strategy aligned with the company’s stage of growth.
    • Outstanding leadership, communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills, coupled with high social and emotional intelligence.
    • Applicants should have a thorough understanding of cultural, racial, socioeconomic and gender unconscious biases; demonstrated commitment to driving organizational Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
    • Strong emphasis on continuous improvement and using data to inform practice
    • Ability to work with a high level of autonomy and to integrate easily into collaborative teamwork
    • Strong experience administering HRIS/ATS/payroll systems required; current systems in use include BambooHR, Lever, Ease, Culture Amp and Gusto.
    • SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP highly desired
    • Bachelor’s degree from a university (4-year program) required; graduate degree preferred

Compensation and Benefits

    • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
    • Competitive equity packages
    • Comprehensive medical, dental, vision, and other benefits
    • Flexible and generous vacation policy