The art of the perfect fit

Director of Operations, International Gallery

Posted: 30.08.2022
Contract Type: Full-time
Job Type: Permanent
Pay: Dependent on experience
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Tenure: Permanent
Job description:

Our client, a renowned and internationally active gallery, is looking for a Director of Operations to join the team in Zurich.

Tasks include but are not limited to:

Gallery Activities

  • Responsible for overall coordination of the CH locations in close collaboration with the Senior Directors and the COO.
  • Coordinate business schedules and operations ensuring efficient and smooth operations.
  • Develop and set up KPI dashboard and provide frequent reporting to the COO.
  • Organize weekly meetings with registrar/handling/logistic/FM/ teams to ensure proper controls / resources are in place.
  • Meet with vendors to negotiate any potential savings or partnerships that will result in a positive outcome for the gallery.
  • Manage and report exhibition costs: Approve and sign invoices ensuring costs have been approved by the Partner and Senior Directors; ensuring all costs are within budget or have been communicated properly if an overrun has occurred.
  • Plan, direct, control, implement, evaluate, monitor, and forecast budgets and costs to achieve the Gallery’s financial objectives.
  • Communicate and explain new directives, policies, or procedures to managers and staff while maintaining morale.
  • Lead coordination and integration of efforts among operations, to produce smooth workflows and cost-effective business processes.
  • Serve as the Operational leader in site audits and determining root cause and corrective actions.
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
  • Maintain close relationships with vendors and negotiate contracts

Facility Management

  • Supervise facility management.
  • Responsible for all day-to-day operations of the CH galleries, offices and warehouses including maintenance, utilities, security, etc.
  • Liaison with the building management and other gallery related premises.
  • Keep abreast of real estate properties within CH.
  • Ensure storage locations are at the best rate and continue to look for ways to save costs.

Art Handling

  • Coaching and managing of all direct reports: Registrars and Handling Team, incl. performance reviews.
  • Manage and support proactively, including delegating responsibility to other staff members in charge and ensuring actions are completed in a satisfactory way and in good time.
  • Oversee workload and processes and enhance workflow where appropriate in collaboration with Global Handling Director.
  • Oversee shipping costs, freelancers etc. and manage costs control incl. budgets.
  • Organise and prepare weekly meetings with gallery staff and registrar/handling, take records or minutes if necessary and process these accordingly and monitor actions taken and decisions made.
  • Provide an effective interface between presidents, directors, and other internal staff at the gallery.

Environmental, Health & Safety

  • Continuously improve the Gallery’s safety culture and performance by ensuring site safety policies and procedures.
  • Provide Carbon Reporting for the gallery’s activities (exhibitions, fairs, etc.)
  • Periodically inspect the site with the Facilities Manager to maintain housekeeping standards.
  • Assume the duties as outlined in the Emergency Preparedness Plan during emergency situations; provide support to Emergency Response incidents;
  • Ensure work environments are adequate and safe.
  • Manage the company’s hazard communication compliance program and the Safety Data Sheet system.


  • Lead proactively, to include coaching, disciplinary action, conduct constructive performance and project a positive image of the organization to employees, customers, industry, and community.
  • Participate in the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of departmental employees.
  • Manage training and development of the operations team.
  • Model and install Gallery values within the operations team and lead by example.


  • MBA or further education in Logistics is an advantage
  • Several years’ demonstrable experience working in a senior position in exhibition organisation/management in the museum or gallery sector.
  • Professional qualification in project management.
  • Strong leader with the ability to drive a culture of high performance and achievement in the team and to meet deadlines.
  • Self-starter: ability to take responsibility for own areas of activity, to plan strategically with the Senior Leadership Team and to have a flexible, positive and collaborative outlook.
  • Organised with the ability to take a structured approach to own workload, prioritising as appropriate.
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to liaise with a range of stakeholders including staff.
  • Financially literate with experience of budget management.
  • High attention to detail.
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject.
  • Excellent German and English knowledge, written and verbal, other languages are a plus.
  • MS Office skills, especially good knowledge of Excel.