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Head of Applied Science - Home & Content Visibility

Home & Content Visibility takes our customers on a digital fashion journey with tailored experience. We develop Machine Learning products that automatically personalize the digital content in Zalando’s apps for each of our 30+ million customers. Our real-time recommendation and auction systems are blending content from internal offers with content from our fashion partners to create an engaging and inspirational customer experience. Our algorithmic systems are designed to optimize for the whole customer lifetime rather than an immediate interaction.

As a Head of Applied Science, you will build and lead teams of applied machine learning scientists and data analysts to develop and deploy scalable personalization and auction algorithms. You will provide a clear vision and strategy for Applied Science in our department as well as bring in the mindset working backwards from customer experience to leverage machine learning. 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.


  • Develop and execute mid- & long-term vision and architectural direction to create highly scalable solutions in the domains of personalization and econometrics.
  • Uncover areas of investments to increase personalization, diversity and economical impact.
  • Lead research and solution development to challenging problems, such as improving the prediction of customer actions and real-time recommender systems, long-term lift estimation and unified auction design.
  • Attract, onboard, develop and retain diverse scientific talent to your team and transform the landscape of Zalando’s Visibility Marketplace. Also, drive and build healthy inclusive teams promoting diversity.
  • Build products in collaboration with Product Managers, Software Engineers, Designers and Applied Scientists.


  • A solid background (MSc, PhD or comparative experience) in a quantitative scientific discipline with a strong understanding of statistics, machine learning, and econometrics applied in a commercial context of end-to-end development lifecycle of data-driven products.
  • Significant experience leading and developing cross-functional engineering and science teams. 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.
  • Experience with online learning, click-through-rate prediction, whole-page recommendation, contextual bandits, long-term lift estimation, causality or reinforcement learning is a plus.
  • Focus on people, maintaining trustful relationships with your teams, leading them and setting a high standard as an example.


  • Culture of trust, empowerment and constructive feedback,open source commitment, meetups, game nights, 70+ internal technical and fun guilds, knowledge sharing through tech talks, internal tech academy andblogs, product demos, parties & events
  • Competitive salary, employee share shop, 40% Zalando shopping discount, discounts from external partners, centrally located offices, public transport discounts, municipality services, great IT equipment, flexible working times, additional holidays and volunteering time off, free beverages and fruits, diverse sports and health offerings
  • Extensive onboarding, mentoring and personal development opportunities and an international team of experts
  • Relocation assistance for internationals

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, merit and business need.


Zalando is Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, connecting customers, brands and partners across 17 markets. We drive digital solutions for fashion, logistics, advertising and research, bringing head-to-toe fashion to more than 26 million active customers through diverse skill-sets, interests andlanguages our teams choose to use. Zalando Research is an incubator for scientific experimentation and innovation, collaborating with industry partners and the greater academic community. With an emphasis on Machine Learning and AI, our research is derived from the daily challenges we face at Zalando Tech, putting the customer at the forefront of our thinking.

Teams at our Helsinki Tech Hub work on many of the cornerstones of our Fashion Store, including personalization and social fashion influencing components. Through full stack engineering and research, we turn visionary ideas into new emerging businesses with real potential. By tackling the most challenging problems for the fashion industry, we drive the personal digital experience and underlying knowledge models to create the most inspirational fashion experience for our customers.

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