Highest Levels of Management

* Chairman of the Board: The Chairman presides over the board of Directors and is often the CEO or President at the actual corporation.

* The CEO and President:  These positions report to the board of directors. In some cases, the Board of Directors may have the power to vote them out, according to your corporation’s bylaws.  

Usually, however, the president or CEO owns a large share of their company’s stock, limiting the power of the board to override their decisions. So what is the difference between the two positions?

o Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Serves as the highest-ranking management officer of a corporation. The CEO has final authority over the daily operations.

o President: Serves as the legally recognized highest corporate officer; generally works for the Board of Directors but is not expected to handle daily operations, which is the responsibility of the CEO.

Upper Level Management

There are many upper level positions to consider as well.

* Directors: Usually this position entails the management of other lower mangers.  This position is often responsible for a major business function and often reports to a Vice President. Don’t confuse this with a Member of the Board of Directors. Directors have day-to-day management of operations within a corporation.

* Vice Chair or Vice Chairman:  Sits on the Board of Directors and will stand in for the Chairman in absentia. A Vice Chair may supervise a specific activity of the Board or company and often holds other titles.

* Vice President:  The VP is an upper manager in a corporation, usually reporting to the President, who will in turn report to the Director, who will then report to the CEO.

Financial Upper Management

* Treasurer:  This is a legally recognized and required corporate officer. The job entails a great deal of financial responsibility and is ideal for an accountant or CFO.

The treasurer’s main job is the care for company funds. Often, a treasurer will also be a CFO and Secretary. It’s important to note that the Treasurer reports officially to the Board of Directors, no matter what position they hold.

* Secretary:  This legally recognized and required corporate officer reports to the Board of Directors. The primary job of the Secretary is record keeping in regards to finance and Board decisions.

* Chief Financial Officer: This high level corporate officer has oversight of corporate finances and reports to the CEO. As stated before, the CEO often holds the title of Treasurer and/or Secretary.