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Head of People

Orca Bio

Orca Bio

People & HR
Menlo Park, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Over one million people in the world today are fighting blood cancer. While a traditional allogeneic stem cell transplant has been the best hope for many patients, the transplant itself can prove fatal or lead to serious conditions, such as graft versus host disease.
Orca Bio's investigational, high-precision cell therapies are designed to replace a patient's compromised blood and immune system with a healthy one, while dramatically lowering the risk of developing life-threatening or debilitating transplant-related side-effects. The first application of Orca Bio’s platform is in blood cancer where the unmet need is most acute; with a robust pipeline of promising cell therapies, we plan to extend into autoimmune diseases and genetic blood disorders as well.
We are looking for an adaptable and innovative leader who can develop, lead and formalize strategic HR programs to help us evolve and retain our unique culture as we grow.
This position will be primarily based out of our Menlo Park, CA office (3-4x per week) with occasional travel to our manufacturing facility in Sacramento (~1x per month).


  • Develop and implement innovative HR strategies aligned with organizational goals.
  • Drive organizational effectiveness and employee engagement initiatives.
  • Partner with CEO, Head of Talent and others to design and lead implementation of cutting-edge HR programs, including real-time feedback, career ladders, and compensation frameworks (i.e., Total Rewards).
  • Provide strategic consultation to enhance employee performance and engagement.
  • Manage employee relations with sensitivity and compliance.
  • Collaborate with internal teams for a seamless employee experience.
  • Offer data-driven recommendations for performance improvement.
  • Partner with Head of Talent to define talent planning processes, including succession planning and leadership development.
  • Establish policies for training, onboarding, career development, and termination.
  • Stay abreast of HR trends, regulatory changes, and new technologies, including oversight of internal HR systems/operations.


  • 10+ years of progressive HR management experience.
  • Experience in a Life Science company is preferred.
  • Fluency in coaching senior leadership on complex people issues.
  • Strategic competency, with a focus on developing and educating managers and leaders.
  • Strong knowledge of HR compliance, legislation, and best practices.
  • Experience in a rapid growth or start-up environment preferred.
  • Experience designing and implementing exceptional HR frameworks (e.g., de-centralized organizational structure).
  • Genuine curiosity, open-mindedness and a strong desire for continuous learning.
  • Prior experience as an HR partner for a manufacturing (non-exempt) workforce preferred.
  • Sense of humor and passion for people.
  • Bachelor's degree in HR, Business Administration, Psychology, or related field (Master's preferred).

Essential Skills

  • Ability to “zoom in” as a hands-on, detail-oriented contributor and “zoom out” as a strategic thought leader in an environment with limited resources.
  • Lead strategic and transactional change.
  • Build and maintain trust across all organizational levels.
  • Demonstrate organizational leadership and decision-making at the senior management level.
  • Communicate the impact of HR policies and procedures to staff.
  • Achieve goals through cooperation with cross-functional teams.
  • Work independently with strong initiative and analytical abilities.
  • Adapt to a fast-paced environment with flexibility.
  • Excellent interpersonal, negotiating, and communication skills.
  • Maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive matters appropriately.
  • Strong organizational and multitasking abilities.
  • Regular on-site attendance with a commitment to meeting deadlines.
The anticipated annual salary range for this U.S. based job is $150,000– $250,000. The final offer will be based on professional experience previously in this role/industry, education, geographic location, internal equity, and other job-related factors as permitted by law. For remote-based candidates, this range may vary based on your local market. Actual compensation may vary. You will also be eligible to receive pre-IPO equity, in addition to medical, dental, vision, PTO, 401(k) plan, life and accidental death and disability coverage, and parental leave benefits. Total compensation will be determined at the Company's sole discretion.
Who we are
We are driven by a passion for science and compassion for patients. We act with urgency to ensure our treatments are one day accessible to all patients who need them.
We strive to do things right, and to embody our core values of passion, courage, and integrity. Excellence in our work means the potential to unlock a better quality of life for our patients, and with that comes tremendous responsibility.
We innovate daily on a path that hasn’t been paved. This means we lean heavily on our entrepreneurial spirit and are comfortable taking calculated risks to achieve progress toward our mission. It means we aren’t afraid to ask “why not,” and encourage lively discourse around rethinking the status quo.
We work hard to preserve our start-up culture rooted in camaraderie and leadership by example - by everyone, regardless of title.
We’re proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and have seen how our differences - when celebrated and woven together - create stronger and more lasting solutions that better serve our team, our partners, and most importantly, our patients and the providers who treat them.
Notice to staffing firms
Orca Bio does not accept resumes from staffing agencies with which we do not have a written agreement and specific engagement for a particular opening. Our employment activities, inquiries and offers are managed through our HR/Talent department, and all candidates are presented through this channel only. We do not accept unsolicited resumes.