Corporate title

Corporate titles or business titles are given to company and organization officials to show what duties and responsibilities they have in the organization. Such titles are used in publicly and privately held for-profit corporations. In addition, many non-profit organizations, educational institutions, partnerships, and sole proprietorships also confer corporate titles.


There are considerable variations in the composition and responsibilities of corporate titles.

Within the corporate office or corporate center of a company, some companies have a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as the top-ranking executive, while the number two is the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO); other companies have a President and CEO but no official deputy. Typically, senior managers are "higher" than vice presidents, although many times a senior officer may also hold a vice president title, such as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The board of directors is technically not part of management itself, although its chairman may be considered part of the corporate office if he or she is an executive chairman.

A corporation often consists of different businesses, whose senior executives report directly to the CEO or COO. If organized as a division then the top manager is often known as an Executive Vice President (EVP) (for example, Todd Bradley, who used to head the Personal Systems Group in Hewlett-Packard). If that business is a subsidiary which has considerably more independence, then the title might be chairman and CEO.

In many countries, particularly in Europe and Asia, there is a separate executive board for day-to-day business and supervisory board (elected by shareholders) for control purposes. In these countries, the CEO presides over the executive board and the chairman presides over the supervisory board, and these two roles will always be held by different people. This ensures a distinction between management by the executive board and governance by the supervisory board. This seemingly allows for clear lines of authority. There is a strong parallel here with the structure of government, which tends to separate the political cabinet from the management civil service.

In the United States and other countries that follow a single-board corporate structure, the board of directors (elected by the shareholders) is often equivalent to the European/Asian supervisory board, while the functions of the executive board may be vested either in the board of directors or in a separate committee, which may be called an operating committee (J.P. Morgan Chase),[1] management committee (Goldman Sachs), executive committee (Lehman Brothers), or executive council (Hewlett-Packard), or executive board (HeiG) composed of the division/subsidiary heads and senior officers that report directly to the CEO.

United States

State laws in the United States traditionally required certain positions to be created within every corporation, such as president, secretary and treasurer. Today, the approach under the Model Business Corporation Act, which is employed in many states, is to grant companies discretion in determining which titles to have, with the only mandated organ being the board of directors.[2]

Some states that do not employ the MBCA continue to require that certain offices be established. Under the law of Delaware, where most large US corporations are established, stock certificates must be signed by two officers with titles specified by law (e.g. a president and secretary or a president and treasurer).[3] Every corporation incorporated in California must have a chairman of the board or a president (or both), as well as a secretary and a chief financial officer.[4]

LLC-structured companies are generally run directly by their members, but the members can agree to appoint officers such as a CEO, or to appoint "managers" to operate the company.[5]

American companies are generally led by a chief executive officer (CEO). In some companies, the CEO also has the title of president. In other companies, the president is a different person, and the primary duties of the two positions are defined in the company's bylaws (or the laws of the governing legal jurisdiction). Many companies also have a chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO) and other senior positions as necessary such as chief information officer, chief sales officer, etc. that report to the president and CEO as "senior vice presidents" of the company. The next level, which are not executive positions, is middle management and may be called vice president, director or manager, depending on the size and required managerial depth of the company.[6]

United Kingdom

In British English, the title of managing director is generally synonymous with that of chief executive officer.[7] Managing directors do not have any particular authority under the Companies Act in the UK, but do have implied authority based on the general understanding of what their position entails, as well as any authority expressly delegated by the board of directors.[8]

Japan and South Korea

In Japan, corporate titles are roughly standardized across companies and organizations; although there is variation from company to company, corporate titles within a company are always consistent, and the large companies in Japan generally follow the same outline.[9] These titles are the formal titles that are used on business cards.[10] Korean corporate titles are similar to those of Japan, as the South Korean corporate structure had been influenced by the Japanese model.[11]

Legally, Japanese and Korean companies are only required to have a board of directors with at least one representative director. In Japanese, a company director is called a torishimariyaku (取締役) and the representative director is called a daihyo torishimariyaku (代表取締役). The equivalent Korean titles are isa (이사, 理事) and daepyo-isa (대표이사, 代表理事). These titles are often combined with lower titles, e.g. senmu torishimariyaku or jomu torishimariyaku for Japanese executives who are also board members.[12][13] Most Japanese companies also have statutory auditors, who operate alongside the board of directors in a supervisory role.

The typical structure of executive titles in large companies includes the following:[12] [13][14]

English gloss Kanji (hanja) Japanese Korean Comments
Chairman 会長
Kaicho Hwejang
Often a semi-retired president or company founder. Denotes a position with considerable power within the company exercised through behind-the-scenes influence via the active president.
Vice chairman 副会長
Fuku-kaicho Bu-hwejang
At Korean family-owned chaebol companies such as Samsung, the vice-chairman commonly holds the CEO title (i.e., Vice Chairman & CEO).
President 社長 Shacho Sajang
Often CEO of the corporation. Some companies do not have the "chairman" position, in which case the "president" is the top position that is equally respected and authoritative.
Deputy president
or Senior executive vice president
副社長 Fuku-shacho Bu-sajang
Reports to the president
Executive vice president
or executive director
専務 Senmu Jŏnmu
Senior vice president
or managing director
常務 Jomu Sangmu
Vice president
or general manager
or department head
部長 Bucho Bujang
Highest non-executive title; denotes a head of a division/department. There is significant variation in the official English translation used by different companies.
Deputy general manager 次長 Jicho Chajang
Direct subordinate to bucho/bujang
or section head
課長 Kacho Gwajang
Denotes a head of a team/section underneath a larger division/department.
Assistant manager
or team leader
Kakaricho Daeri'
Staff 社員 Shain Sawon
Staff without managerial titles are often referred to without using a title at all

The top management group, comprising jomu/sangmu and above, is often referred to collectively as "senior management" (幹部 or 重役; kambu or juyaku in Japanese; ganbu or jungyŏk in Korean).

Some Japanese and Korean companies have also adopted American-style titles, but these are not yet widespread and their usage varies. For example, although there is a Korean translation for chief operating officer (최고운영책임자, choego unyŏng chaegimja), not many companies have yet adopted it with an exception of a few multi-national companies such as Samsung and CJ, while the chief financial officer title is often used alongside other titles such as bu-sajang (SEVP) or Jŏnmu (EVP).

Since the late 1990s, many Japanese companies have introduced the title of shikko yakuin (執行役員) or "officer," seeking to emulate the separation of directors and officers found in American companies. In 2002, the statutory title of shikko yaku (執行役) was introduced for use in companies that introduced a three-committee structure in their board of directors. The titles are frequently given to bucho and higher-level personnel. Although the two titles are very similar in intent and usage, there are several legal distinctions: shikko yaku make their own decisions in the course of performing work delegated to them by the board of directors, and are considered managers of the company rather than employees, with a legal status similar to that of directors. Shikko yakuin are considered employees of the company that follow the decisions of the board of directors, although in some cases directors may have the shikko yakuin title as well.[15][16]

Senior management

The highest-level executives in senior management usually have titles beginning with "chief" forming what is often called the C-suite. The traditional three such officers are chief executive officer (CEO), chief operations officer (COO), and chief financial officer (CFO). Depending on the management structure, titles may exist instead of or are blended/overlapped with other traditional executive titles, such as president, various designations of vice presidents (e.g. VP of marketing), and general managers or directors of various divisions (such as director of marketing); the latter may or may not imply membership of the board of directors.

Certain other prominent positions have emerged, some of which are sector-specific. For example, CEO and chief risk officer (CRO) positions are often found in many types of financial services companies. Technology companies of all sorts now tend to have a chief technology officer (CTO) to manage technology development. A chief information officer (CIO) oversees IT (information technology) matters, either in companies that specialize in IT or in any kind of company that relies on it for supporting infrastructure.

Many companies now also have a chief marketing officer (CMO), particularly mature companies in competitive sectors, where brand management is a high priority. In creative/design industries, there is sometimes a chief creative officer (CCO), responsible for keeping the overall look and feel of different products consistent across a brand. A chief administrative officer may be found in many large complex organizations that have various departments or divisions. Additionally, many companies now call their top diversity leadership position the chief diversity officer (CDO). However, this and many other nontraditional and/or lower-ranking titles (see below) are not universally recognized as corporate officers, and they tend to be specific to particular organizational cultures or the preferences of employees.

Specific corporate officer positions

List of chief officer (CxO) titles

Title Postnominal Explanation
chief academic officer CAO Responsible for academic administration at universities and other higher education institutions.
chief accounting officer CAO Responsible for overseeing all accounting and bookkeeping functions, ensuring that ledger accounts, financial statements, and cost control systems are operating effectively.
chief administrative officer CAO Responsible for business administration, including daily operations and overall performance.
chief Artificial Intelligence officer CAIO Responsible for AI research departament.
chief analytics officer CAO Responsible for data analysis and interpretation.
chief architect CA Responsible for designing systems for high availability and scalability, specifically in technology companies. Often called enterprise architect (EA).
chief audit executive CAE Responsible for the internal audit.
chief business officer CBO Responsible for the administrative, financial, and operations management of the organization, often combining the roles of chief administrative officer (CAO), chief financial officer (CFO), and chief operating officer (COO).
chief business development officer CBDO Responsible for business development plans, design and implementation of processes to support business growth.
chief brand officer CBO Responsible for a brand's image, experience, and promise, and propagating it throughout all aspects of the company, overseeing marketing, advertising, design, public relations and customer service departments.
chief commercial officer CCO Responsible for commercial strategy and development.
chief communications officer CCO Responsible for communications to employees, shareholders, media, bloggers, influencers, the press, the community, and the public. Practical application of communication studies.
chief compliance officer CCO Responsible for overseeing and managing regulatory compliance.
chief content officer CCO Responsible for developing and commissioning content (media) for broadcasting channels and multimedia exploitation.
chief creative officer CCO In one sense of the term, responsible for the overall look and feel of marketing, media, and branding. In another sense, similar to chief design officer.
chief customer officer CCO Responsible for customer relationship management.
Chief Development Officer CDO Responsible for actvities developing the business. Usually through added products, added clients, markets or segments.
chief data officer CDO Responsible for enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information and data as assets, via data processing, data analysis, data mining, information trading, and other means.
chief design officer CDO Responsible for overseeing all design aspects of a company's products and services, including product design, graphic design, user experience design, industrial design, and package design, and possibly aspects of advertising, marketing, and engineering.
chief digital officer CDO Responsible for adoption of digital technologies, digital consumer experiences, the process of digital transformation, and devising and executing social strategies.
chief diversity officer CDO Responsible for diversity and inclusion, including diversity training and equal employment opportunity.
chief engineering officer CEngO Similar to the more common chief technology officer (CTO); responsible for technology/product R & D and/or manufacturing issues in a technology company, oversees the development of technology being commercialized.
chief executive officer CEO Responsible for the overall vision and direction of an organization, making the final decisions over all of the corporation's operations. The highest-ranking management officer; often also the chairman of the board. Usually called CEO in the United States, chief executive or managing director in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth of Nations, and some other countries.
chief experience officer CXO Responsible for user experience, overseeing user experience design and user interface design. “CXO” is not to be confused with “CxO”, a term commonly used when referring to any one of various chief officers.
chief financial officer CFO Responsible for all aspects of finances.
chief gaming officer CGO Responsible for both the game development and the online/offline publishing functions of a company that makes video games.
chief human resources officer CHRO Responsible for all aspects of human resource management and industrial relations.
chief information officer CIO Responsible for information technology (IT), particularly in IT companies or companies that rely heavily on an IT infrastructure.
chief information security officer CISO Responsible for information security.
chief innovation officer CIO Responsible for innovation.
chief investment officer CIO Responsible for investment and/or for the asset liability management (ALM) of typical large financial institutions such as insurers, banks and/or pension funds.
chief information technology officer CITO Responsible for information technology. Often equivalent to chief information officer (CIO) and, in a company that sells IT, chief technology officer (CTO).
chief knowledge officer CKO Responsible for managing intellectual capital and knowledge management.
chief legal officer CLO Responsible for overseeing and identifying legal issues in all departments and their interrelation, as well as corporate governance and business policy. Often called general counsel (GC) or chief counsel.
chief learning officer CLO Responsible for learning and training.
chief marketing officer CMO Responsible for marketing; job may include sales management, product development, distribution channel management, marketing communications (including advertising and promotions), pricing, market research, and customer service.
chief medical officer CMO Responsible for scientific and medical excellence, especially in pharmaceutical companies, health systems, hospitals, and integrated provider networks. The title is used in many countries for the senior government official who advises on matters of public health importance. In the latter sense compare also Chief Dental Officer (Canada) and Chief Dental Officer (England).
chief networking officer CNO Responsible for social capital within the company and between the company and its partners.
chief nursing officer CNO Responsible for nursing.
chief operating officer COO Responsible for business operations, including operations management, operations research, and (when applicable) manufacturing operations; role is highly contingent and situational, changing from company to company and even from a CEO to their successor within the same company. Often called “director of operations” in the nonprofit sector.
chief privacy officer CPO Responsible for all the privacy of the data in an organization, including privacy policy enforcement.
chief process officer CPO Responsible for business processes and applied process theory, defining rules, policies, and guidelines to ensure that the main objectives follow the company strategy as well as establishing control mechanisms.
chief procurement officer CPO Responsible for procurement, sourcing goods and services and negotiating prices and contracts.
chief product officer CPO Responsible for all product-related matters. Usually includes product conception and development, production in general, innovation, user experience, project and product management. Sometimes defends the value proposition of individual products by recognizing and resisting instances where cost reduction or standardization efforts would impede it in ways that operations management may not fully recognize, such as after mergers and acquisitions.
chief quality officer CQO Responsible for quality and quality assurance, setting up quality goals and ensuring that those goals continue to be met over time.
chief research and development officer CRDO Responsible for research and development.
chief research officer CRO Responsible for research.
chief revenue officer CRO Responsible for measuring and maximizing revenue.
chief risk officer CRO Responsible for risk management, ensuring that risk is avoided, controlled, accepted, or transferred and that opportunities are not missed. Sometimes called chief risk management officer (CRMO).
chief sales officer CSO Responsible for sales.
chief science officer CSO Responsible for science, usually applied science, including research and development and new technologies. Sometimes called chief scientist.
chief security officer CSO Responsible for security, including physical security, network security, and many other kinds.
chief strategy officer CSO Responsible for strategy, usually business strategy, including strategic planning and strategic management. Assists the chief executive officer with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining strategy. Sometimes called chief strategic planning officer (CSPO).
chief sustainability officer CSO Responsible for environmental/sustainability programs.
chief technology officer CTO Responsible for technology and research and development, overseeing the development of technology to be commercialized. (For an information technology company, the subject matter would be similar to the CIO's; however, the CTO's focus is technology for the firm to sell versus technology used for facilitating the firm's own operations.). Sometimes called chief technical officer.
chief visionary officer CVO Responsible for defining corporate vision, business strategy, and working plans.
chief web officer CWO Responsible for the web presence of the company and usually for the entire online presence, including intranet and internet (web, mobile apps, other).
chief shariah officer CSO Responsible for the shariah compliance of the company businesses. Usually used in Islamic Banking sector.

Middle management

See also


  1. Dominus, Susan (2012-10-03). "Ina Drew, Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase's $6 Billion Mistake". The New York Times.
  2. "Model Business Corporation Act" (PDF). Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  3. "Delaware General Corporation Law § 158". Retrieved 19 December 2013. Every holder of stock represented by certificates shall be entitled to have a certificate signed by, or in the name of the corporation by the chairperson or vice-chairperson of the board of directors, or the president or vice-president, and by the treasurer or an assistant treasurer, or the secretary or an assistant secretary of such corporation representing the number of shares registered in certificate form.
  4. "California Corporations Code § 312". Retrieved 19 December 2013. A corporation shall have a chairman of the board or a president or both, a secretary, a chief financial officer and such other officers with such titles and duties as shall be stated in the bylaws or determined by the board and as may be necessary to enable it to sign instruments and share certificates.
  5. Lawrence, George. "Does an LLC Have to Have a President or CEO?". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  6. Lowe, Keith. "The Relevance of Employee Titles". Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  7. "What is MANAGING DIRECTOR?". The Law Dictionary. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  8. "The Powers of a Managing Director". Jordans. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  9. Arthur Murray Whitehill (1991). Japanese management: tradition and transition. Taylor & Francis. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-415-02253-8.
  10. Rochelle Kopp (2000). The rice-paper ceiling: breaking through Japanese corporate culture. Stone Bridge Press, Inc. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-880656-51-8.
  11. Meg Ulrich. "Businesstips". Business in Asia. Retrieved 2013-11-21.
  12. 1 2 William Lazer and Midori Rynn (1990). "Japan". In Vishnu H. Kirpalani. International business handbook. Haworth series in international business. 1. Routledge. p. 361. ISBN 978-0-86656-862-3.
  13. 1 2 John C. Condon (1984). With respect to the Japanese: a guide for Americans. Country orientation series. 4. Intercultural Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-933662-49-0.
  14. Ezra F. Vogel (1975). Modern Japanese organization and decision-making. University of California Press. pp. 135, 137. ISBN 978-0-520-02857-9.
  15. "執行役/執行役員 Operating Officer". Nomura Research Institute. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  16. Suzuki, Kengo. "執行役と執行役員の異同". Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  17. Wilson, Harry; Farrell, Sean; Aldrick, Philip (2010-09-22). "HSBC investors against Michael Geoghegan becoming chairman". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  18. "HSBC chief Michael Geoghegan 'to quit' after failing to get top job". 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  19. Reece, Damian (2010-12-20). "HSBC ex-chief Michael Geoghegan relaxes as another marathon looms". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  20. Welsh, James (2003-01-29). "Ted Turner quits as AOLTW Vice Chairman". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-12-31.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/21/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.