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Originele vacaturetekst

Head of Applied Science - zDirect (Marketplace) (w/m/d)

As a Head of Applied Science within Merchant Operations (Zalando’s Sellers Platform), you will build and lead teams of applied machine learning scientists and data analysts to develop and deploy scalable algorithms for data-driven automations leveraging image recognition, extraction of product attributes from images, sales predictions / prediction models and stock optimizations. In addition, you will provide a clear vision and strategy for Applied Science in our department as well as bringing in the mindset of using machine learning and data as a way of problem solving. Your contributions are expected to help shape Zalando's overall Applied Science community consisting of more than 150 scientific experts. You will be the leading expert that product teams turn to for leadership on scientific topics and technical expertise.

Learn more about our product from here.


  • Develop and execute mid- & long-term vision and architectural direction to create highly scalable solutions in the domain of machine learning, optimization and operations research.
  • Uncover areas of investments to increase automation.
  • Experience bringing the expertise and the domain of applied science to an existing team.
  • Facilitate collaboration, communication and decision-making between the engineering teams, engineering leaders, product owners and business stakeholders. You partner with product owners and managers, engineering and central Zalando applied science teams to influence product strategy and drive the product development roadmap.
  • Attract, onboard, develop and retain diverse scientific talent to your team and transform the landscape of Zalando’s Marketplace platform. Also, drive and build healthy inclusive teams promoting diversity.
  • Lead and manage a team of junior and senior applied scientists.


  • A solid background (MSc or PhD degree) in a quantitative scientific discipline with a strong understanding of machine learning as well as end-to-end development lifecycle of data-driven products.
  • Significant experience leading and developing cross-functional engineering and science teams within an international, agile environment. You have effective communication skills in English, with an ability to understand and translate business and user requirements across teams.
  • Experience with highly distributed, scalable and resilient software development with an understanding of an overlap between software engineering and applied science.
  • You are solution oriented, adaptable to change, and have a drive for continuous innovation.
  • Responsible for maintaining trustful relationships with your teams, leading them and setting a high standard as an example.
  • Keeping business in mind, you are capable of making your teams accountable and responsible for decisions made by providing a strong sense of ownership.
  • Ability to proactively work through uncertainty to bring clarity.

At ZalandoMerchant Operations we use a variety of programming languages, but most of our backend systems are written in Scala. We do have services written in Java, Go, NodeJS and many more. You will be responsible to drive the technology decisions to enable an applied scientific culture.


  • Culture of trust, empowerment and constructive feedback,open source commitment, meetups, game nights, 70+ internal and fun guilds, knowledge sharing through talks, internal tech academy andblogs, product demos, parties and events
  • Competitive salary, employee share shop, training platform and training budget, free language courses (English / German), pension scheme, 40% Zalando shopping discount on most products from our catalogue, discounts from external partners, centrally located offices, public transport discounts, municipality services, great IT equipment, flexible working times, additional holidays and volunteering time off, diverse online accessible sports and health offerings (such as an extensive Employee Assistance Program for you and your family members)
  • Extensive onboarding, mentoring and personal development opportunities and access to an international team of experts and a very diverse group of colleagues. We are proud of our diversity and it shows in our recently published report.
  • Sponsorship for VISAs, Relocation assistance for internationals, PME family service and parent & child rooms* (*available only in selected locations)

We celebrate diversity and are committed to building teams that represent a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, and business need.

Please note that all applications must be completed using the online form - we do not accept applications via e-mail.

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