Senior Director, HR Business Partner

Human Resources South San Francisco, California


Senior Director, HR Business Partner


Position Summary

As a key member of the HR Leadership Team, the Sr Director, HR will play a key role in delivering on Portola’s people and organizational strategy.  The ideal candidate will bring a deep expertise in human resources, strong business acumen, cultural awareness, a consultative approach, be a relationship builder, a problem solver and a hands on team player. Must be able to lead independently, excel in a fast-paced environment and adapt in times of ambiguityThis position reports to the Chief Human Resources Officer and is located in South San Francisco, California.



  • Act as a strategic partner and trusted advisor to the Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Medical Officer, as well as to their respective teams. As a member of the extended leadership teams, develop a deep understanding of the business and support the business to achieve the organizations’ short- and long-term business goals and build engagement. Translate business strategy into operational plans that deliver organizational value.
  • In partnership with CHRO, lead and drive the workforce plan and talent strategy. Identify talent pools to support succession priorities. Understand future capabilities and talent profiles to achieve longer-term business goals. Diagnose gaps, identify ways to manage headcount growth (e.g. leverage existing talent, identify, identify process efficiencies, develop programs to build bench strength across the organization)
  • Provide expert insight, coaching and development on people, process, productivity, performance and organizational issues to positively influence company performance and business outcomes
  • Anticipate and identify HR implications of business actions, potential disruptions and/or change management
  • Lead employee relations issues by conducting investigations, determine effective interventions and resolutions; escalate issues as appropriate
  • Partner with Talent Acquisition to develop and execute a strategic recruiting plan and with Total Rewards to manage and execute annual compensation and performance programs
  • Foster an environment where courage to deal with volatile sensitive issues tactfully and to challenge appropriately is strongly encouraged and consistently demonstrated.
  • Champion a consistently fair and harassment-free work environment in compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and Portola standards.
  • Manage and develop two AD, HR Business Partners



  • Bachelor’s Degree in business or related field; Master’s degree a plus
  • 15+ years’ HR Generalist/Business Partner experience; 5 years as an HR Director in a leadership role
  • Experience working in biotech/pharmaceutical/health care is preferred
  • Proven experience working directly with executive leaders as their dedicated HR partner
  • Expertise in commercial sales and the clinical and medical functions  
  • Visible champion and role model demonstrating and advocating for the core values of an organization
  • Ability to communicate effectively and influence internal stakeholders
  • Experience developing and rolling out performance management and leadership development programs
  • Expert in resolving employee relations matters as needed
  • Demonstrated success in change management and guiding leaders and colleagues through changes and times of growth
  • Ability to work as a team player in a very fast-paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to lead & influence among a business team
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated client leadership as a business partner 



Portola Pharmaceuticals is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.