What is the distinction between a board member and a director?
Despite their similar titles, a member of a company’s board of directors who represents the shareholders should not be mistaken with a member of the management within the firm who has the role of director of a field or department.
A board of directors, sometimes known as a board of trustees, is a corporate unit that represents the company’s shareholders and interests. Members of the board of directors are not responsible for the company’s day-to-day management, but rather monitor the CEO and deal with the formulation of the company’s strategy from a macro perspective.
A manager with the title of director of a company, such as a sales director or marketing director, is at a lower management level than the company’s CEO (unless the position is public, in which case “Director General” is a corresponding name for the CEO).
Before delving into the definition of executive titles in high-tech and other industries, we’ll go through the organizational management structure and who reports to whom.
What is the structure of a company’s management hierarchy?
The names of management tittles in a firm vary depending on the organization’s structure and size, and might include:
- Management at Level C – Chief: Usually the top of the mountain in the company’s hierarchy, which includes the CEO and all other C-suite executives, with the C-suite executives reporting to the CEO, who in turn reports to the company’s board of directors and/or founders.
- Management at Level V – Vice President (VP): Vice President (VP) and any Senior Vice President (SVP) who reports to Management at Level C.
- Management at level D – Director: Directors in the various departments that report to management at level V.
- Management at Level B – Manager: Intermediate level managers who report to level D, such as sales managers, regional managers, etc.
These ranks work differently in different companies. Typically, the rock rolls down the mountain from level C to level V, level D, level B, and below. But not all companies tend to use these titles and by this hierarchy or definition.
What does the CEO do?
What is the role of the CEO and what names correspond to the CEO in English?
The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) or Managing Director, President, or in the case of a public office, Director General-usually the face of the company, is responsible for all activities and the company’s dealings with the board. This can include delegating authority and directing agendas, driving profitability, managing the organizational structure, and building strategy.
Positions in high-tech that are similar to those in other sectors include:
How do I determine which executive position in high-tech I am suitable for if I come from another industry?
- CTO (Chief Technology Officer) – A dynamic role that changes in nature according to the organization, usually responsible for overseeing the technological development of the company’s products, anticipating future technology needs including hardware and software, and maintaining competitive relevance.
In the absence of a CIO (Chief Information Officer), a CTO may also be responsible for managing or developing personnel in IT by recruiting new employees or training existing employees.
- COO (Chief Operating Officer) – Usually second in command to the CEO, the COO oversees the company’s day-to-day operations and its office facility. In contrast to the role definitions of other C-suite executives, the role of the Chief Operating Officer will be defined according to the nature of the work with the CEO. The COO sometimes manages all of the company’s internal operations while the CEO manages all of the external communications.
- CFO (Chief Financial Officer) – Holds the executive financial position in the organization. They are responsible for monitoring cash flow, financial planning and analyzing the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing strategic directions. CFOs are responsible for both the organization and various bodies and regulatory authorities, including the Securities Authority and the stock exchange in public companies. They are well versed in both accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and state regulations.
- CIO (Chief Information Officer) – In charge of information technology initiatives and strategies. The CIO oversees the computer systems required to support the organization’s unique goals and objectives. Information systems officers lead digital transformation initiatives as well as are responsible for purchasing, implementing, and operating the business’s information technology systems and services.
What is the difference between a CIO and a CTO? A simple distinction is that the CIO usually looks inward, in order to improve processes within the company, while the CTO looks outward, using technology to improve or innovate products that serve the customers.
- CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) – Responsible for overseeing the organization’s marketing and sales initiatives. The primary responsibility of a CMO is to generate revenue through successful marketing for the entire organization. Today, that means looking for new ways to increase an organization’s exposure, such as mobile, video and social media platforms.
- CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) – Responsible for everything related to manpower and culture in the organization. They determine how the company recruits, promotes, trains, and evaluates employees.
The CHRO is responsible for developing and executing a human resources strategy to support the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization, especially in the areas of talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development, and benefits. The CHRO provides strategic leadership by formulating human resource needs and plans for management staff, shareholders and the board of directors.
Additional C-suite positions:
- Chief Compliance Officer (CCO)
- Chief Security Officer (CSO)
- Chief Green Officer (CGO)
- Chief Analytics Officer (CAO)
- Chief Data Officer (CDO)
This article is the first in a comprehensive series of articles reviewing all the senior positions in the job market.