There has been a limited research focus on the role of individual actors and human side of open innovation (OI) within the literature. The purpose of this chapter is to address this imbalance. Using a systematic literature review, we thematically review and analyse the R&D leader role within an OI R&D environment. We identified three main themes, OI implementation, fear and firm performance, and using these themes an organising framework we outline future avenues of research. We also argue that there is a need to undertake further research on the role of R&D leader within an OI R&D environment to adequately equip and support them in the day-to-day management of OI.