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Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing (Software)



San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, March 6, 2024

About the Team

The Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing (Software) is a key player in OpenAI's Finance team, responsible for elevating our software procurement function. Reporting to the Head of Procurement, you’ll play a pivotal role in aligning procurement strategies with OpenAI’s broader objectives, thereby contributing to our mission of advancing artificial general intelligence for the benefit of all.

About the Role

We’re seeking a seasoned Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing (Software) to refine and scale our software procurement function. You’ll develop category strategies, build robust vendor relationships, manage RFPs, and oversee crucial software spend areas, alongside proactively engaging with internal stakeholders to understand and address their procurement needs. You’ll have expertise in software procurement, particularly in cloud services, and a deep understanding of engineering principles to bridge the gap between our engineering and finance teams.

Additionally, you’ll have prior experience managing direct reports and be responsible for hiring and leading a team of category specialists.

This role is based in San Francisco, CA. We use a hybrid work model of 3 days in the office per week and offer relocation assistance to new employees.

In this role, you will:

  • Devise and implement a comprehensive strategy for our software procurement—particularly cloud services—aligning with OpenAI’s broader financial, operational, and technology objectives.

  • Oversee the development and execution of category strategies, promoting a proactive approach to understanding internal stakeholders’ procurement needs and ensuring timely and effective sourcing solutions.

  • Own the strategic sourcing process for key software spend areas, ensuring a streamlined approach for managing RFPs and vendor selection.

  • Engage with internal customers across various departments, understand their procurement needs, and ensure a streamlined procurement request and approval process to improve operational efficiency and fiscal discipline within OpenAI.

  • Support the continuous improvement process by taking ownership of supplier performance metrics, ensuring thorough and timely evaluations to enhance supplier quality and performance.

  • Manage and optimize our sourcing systems, ensuring seamless procurement operations and data-driven decision-making.

  • Take a hands-on role in managing key supplier relationships, including contract negotiations and performance evaluations, to ensure alignment with OpenAI’s financial policies and procedures.

  • Lead reporting and analytics initiatives within the software procurement domain, generating insightful reports and dashboards to monitor performance, identify trends, and support data-driven decision-making aligned with OpenAI's financial and operational goals.

  • Hire and lead a team of category specialists, fostering a collaborative and high-performing team environment.

We’re looking for a blend of:

  • Strong Category Experience: 10+ years of experience in technology procurement, with a strong focus on cloud services at fast-growing technology companies.

  • Technical Credibility: Proven ability to engage credibly with engineering teams, leveraging your technical background to understand their needs and challenges.

  • People Management: Experience in managing and leading teams, with the ability to hire, mentor, and develop a high-performing team of category managers and specialists.

  • Relationship Management: Strong skills in managing relationships with key suppliers, negotiating contracts, and working closely with internal stakeholders to understand and address their procurement needs.

  • Negotiation Mastery: Demonstrated excellence in negotiating contracts and terms with vendors, ensuring favorable outcomes for OpenAI (e.g. custom contracts, unique terms) while maintaining strong supplier relationships.

  • Strategic Insight: Ability to develop and implement robust procurement strategies that align with OpenAI's broader financial and operational objectives, ensuring cost-effectiveness and risk management in software spend areas.

  • Analytical Capability: Aptitude for leading reporting and analytics initiatives, generating insightful data to monitor performance, identify trends, and support informed decision-making.

  • Collaborative Engagement: Ability to collaborate effectively with various internal departments as well as Legal and Security teams to ensure compliance and timely vendor assessments.

  • Proactive Leadership: A proactive approach in engaging with internal departments, refining the procurement function, and contributing significantly to operational efficiency and fiscal discipline within OpenAI.

  • Mission-Driven Focus: An understanding and commitment to supporting OpenAI’s ambitious projects and long-term mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity, through strategic procurement practices.

You might thrive in this role if:

  • You’re an enthusiastic self-starter. You thrive in a fast-paced, ambiguous environment, and expect to lead multiple projects. You take ownership of your work and believe that a job not done well is a job not done.

  • You’re excited about new challenges. You don’t have the answers to every question up front, but the process of solving them invigorates you. Novel issues requiring multidimensional knowledge excite you.

  • You’re a phenomenal teammate. You’re a strong communicator who can explain complex topics with ease, in any format. You intuitively understand the importance of keeping everyone in the loop, and you take proactive measures to do so. You’re intellectually honest.

  • You’re a world-class leader. You mentor those around you, help set agendas, and unblock company-wide issues. You identify opportunities for cross-functional projects and emphatically step in to lead them. Your commitment to quality is unwavering and you coach the work of those around you to join you at this elevated level.

  • You’re a builder. You not only embrace the opportunity to have a direct impact on how a company operates, you revel in it. An organization relies on the quality of its foundation and your passion is building strong systems and processes from the ground up.

  • You’re passionate about technology and artificial intelligence.


About OpenAI

OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company dedicated to ensuring that general-purpose artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. We push the boundaries of the capabilities of AI systems and seek to safely deploy them to the world through our products. AI is an extremely powerful tool that must be created with safety and human needs at its core, and to achieve our mission, we must encompass and value the many different perspectives, voices, and experiences that form the full spectrum of humanity.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

For US Based Candidates: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, and requests can be made via this link.

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At OpenAI, we believe artificial intelligence has the potential to help people solve immense global challenges, and we want the upside of AI to be widely shared. Join us in shaping the future of technology.