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Corporate designation Rank Hierarchy chart-Hierarchystructure

However, globalization and the expansion of remote work have made such terms become a standard in the business world. With this in mind, it’s wise to regularly review executive compensation plans to ensure your company is staying competitive. Chief technology officer or CTO- As the name suggests, the CTO is in charge of the technological proceedings of a company. Looks after the systems of the company that are related to information technology at the process level and from the point of view of planning. The CIO analyzes the benefits new technologies can offer, identify which ones are more interesting, and evaluate its operation. The CIO focuses on improving the efficiency of internal processes to ensure information flows accordingly.

Certain other prominent positions have emerged, some of which are sector-specific. For example, chief audit executive , chief procurement officer and chief risk officer positions are often found in many types of financial services companies. Technology companies of all sorts now tend to have a chief technology officer to manage technology development.

The CEO expects the procurement function to achieve sustained cost-reduction, drive supplier innovation, and effectively mitigate risk. When a procurement leader reports directly to the CEO, they can expect an increased focus on meeting overall long-term business goals and risk mitigation. Some aspiring leaders move up through the ranks of organizations, acquiring the experience, skills, and knowledge to take on C-suite positions along the way. Others may take a less conventional path and reach the C-suite by starting a business and guiding its growth. CFOs, especially private equity CFOs, usually hold at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting.

ceo coo cfo hierarchy

But, the specifics of the role of a COO is highly dependent on the CEO and the requirements of the company. The CFO oversees the financial aspects of a company and so is responsible for all finance-related departments. Therefore, senior managers from finance, accounting, budget, and other finance-related departments will report to the CFO.


They need to focus on the strategy part of the company and how those strategies are to be developed and used for company’s benefit. The chief operation officer is normally provided the title President, following CEO rank. A COO can be explained as a director of operations in the corporate sector with a responsibility of handling and managing the daily operations of the organization. The professionals at this level focus on the organizational strategy, objectives and plan of actions to be followed.

Responsible for connecting the business with the market, having the final say in budgeting investment decisions, and directing the company’s strategies. They are more common to companies with a high level of operational activities like manufacturing companies. On a broad level the COO is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the company.

The COO is often viewed as the second-in-command, reporting directly to the CEO. In a small business, the COO is usually someone with direct experience in the field, who can understand an owner or CEO’s vision and turn it into practical, meaningful steps to take when launching the business. Prior to the creation of the group management board in 2006, HSBC’s chairman essentially held the duties of a chief executive at an equivalent institution, while HSBC’s chief executive served as the deputy. After the 2006 reorganization, the management cadre ran the business, while the chairman oversaw the controls of the business through compliance and audit and the direction of the business. 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).

The COO’s relationship with the organizational culture is interesting. In companies where they are required to develop and establish the culture their role is on the enforcer . They are tasked with ensuring the company culture is understood, accepted, and followed by everyone in the company. In companies where the culture is not part of their primary responsibilities, ceo coo cfo hierarchy the COO is like any other leader and is expected to uphold the culture and be an example for the rest of the employees. The CFO is responsible only for the financial activities of the company. They are in charge of all the different financial departments in an organization whether it may be accounting, budgets, financial reports, or investments.

Including daihyō-torishimariyaku (代表取締役), meaning “Representative Director”, which is mandatory if the Board of Directors has been settled. Chief compliance officerCCOResponsible for overseeing and managing regulatory compliance. Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law.

  • CIOs usually move up from positions in the company such as IT managers, information security managers, technology directors, etc.
  • In a small business, it’s likely that these roles overlap somewhat, with each other and with random roles.
  • Dispersal of profits- it the CFO who has to decide how much money should be retained back in the company as retained earnings and what portion is to be given to the shareholders as dividends out of the company’s profits.
  • He or she must keep this information secured from any external attack.
  • In this case, the board frequently names an independent member of the board as a lead director.

Today, many are large international conglomerates that trade publicly on one or many global exchanges. Its main objective is to rely on marketing and advertising strategies to generate higher income for the organization. And corresponds to the position of executive director of a company, or to the highest position within an organization. CEO, COO, CMO, CFO, CIO, CTO, CCO, and CDO refer to a number of senior positions and managerial functions in a company. There may be other chief officers’ positions in other industries as well.


This is among the high level ranks in hierarchy mainly responsible for managing company’s technology department along with research and development process. The CFO is solely concerned with the financial growth and progress of the company. They keep track of the financial strengths and weaknesses of the company and propose plans to combat the weaknesses and play up the growth. They also have to be aware of unforeseen challenges such as an unstable economy.

At the top of the hierarchy is a collection of shareholders and senior officers who make decisions on big-picture corporate direction and management strategy. For a small business without public shares, this collective might be the people who helped fund the initiative, the owner and the top executives. Chairman of the board – presiding officer of the corporate board of directors. The chairman influences the board of directors, which in turn elects and removes the officers of a corporation and oversees the human, financial, environmental and technical operations of a corporation.

Whether they’re information technology students, MBA graduates, or hold a degree in accounting, their responsibilities are vital to a company’s success. Some choose to take a lower position in an organization and slowly move up; while others choose to open their own business and become entrepreneurs on their own. Although every C-suite position has its own duties and responsibilities, they all have to understand the company areas and how they affect each other. Some service companies even have a specialised position of a chief marketing officer , who looks after the sales and marketing targets and customer relationships. The chief finance officer is the authority that steers and directs the company’s financial planning.

A chief information officer oversees information technology matters, either in companies that specialize in IT or in any kind of company that relies on it for supporting infrastructure. Such officers may hold several top level roles and duties in a company. Further, there is no statutory obligation for appointing officers in a private company. However, directors should be appointed compulsorily for all companies by the shareholders. Chief executive officerCEOResponsible 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.

They also have to be aware of unforeseen challenges, such as an unstable economy. They are expected to provide counsel in financial matters concerning investments, projects, and strategies. The COO’s function in the company is reliant on the CEO and the company’s needs. But typically, the COO is responsible for daily operations at a company.

ceo coo cfo hierarchy

Their job is to make major corporate decisions, with the help of the board, and then execute them within the company. They are the liaison between the board’s stakeholders and the rest of the company and communicate the overall vision for the company. In small businesses, this might be the owner, or it could be an individual hired by the owner to enact their vision.

What are the CEO, CFO, and COO hierarchies?

CEOs focus on long-term strategy and, in some smaller businesses, the daily operations of a company. The CEO is the highest-level C-suite role in a company, followed by the COO, then the CFO. In other words, COOs are usually second in command while CFOs are typically third in command. A 2018Harvard Business Reviewreport notes that 32 of the 100 top-performing CEOs held MBA degrees, an increase from the previous year. MBA coursework provides students with essential business and management knowledge.

ceo coo cfo hierarchy

In some development aid programs, this position is similar to the Technical Director. Non-executive chairman – also a separate post from the CEO, unlike an executive chairman, a non-executive chairman does not interfere in day-to-day company matters. Across the world, many companies have separated the roles of chairman and CEO, often resulting in a non-executive chairman, saying that this move improves corporate governance.

Executive Officers

In this article, she discusses the roles and responsibilities of the CEO, COO, and CFO. The CFO is an upper management position that ranks below and reports to the CEO. Responsible for finance-related departments and oversees only the financial part of a company.

In recent times, however, this single point at the pinnacle of the organisation has laterally expanded, creating room for a core group of specialised individuals jointly responsible for the strategic growth of any company. The top of most management teams has at least a Chief Executive Officer , a Chief Financial Officer , and a Chief Operations Officer . She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree from Bridgewater State University and has worked on print content for business owners, national brands, and major publications.

The titles of executives operating at the top level in a company usually begin with the word Chief. In terms of organizational hierarchy, this reporting line is significantly less influential than other organizations where procurement reports directly to the CFO or CEO. However, reporting to the CFO might constrain procurement when it comes to adding value in other areas. A focus on short-term saving can distance the profession from the organization’s long-term business goals. When procurement is aligned with finance, the overriding focus will be on driving savings for the organization.

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