Re: (Vice-)President vs CxO

James Tauber (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 00:15:22 -0600 (CST)

On Tue, 30 Mar 1999, James Tauber wrote:

> In practice, what is the difference between the President of a company and
> the CEO? And what is the difference between the VPs and the various other
> CxOs (for example between the VP, Finance and the CFO)?

The best answer is that it depends.

Often a President will be the CEO as well, but not always. In cases where
they are two separate people, the breakdown is usually that the CEO
focuses on grander "big picture" ideas while the President takes a more
internal, operational point of view. This, in turn, often makes the CEO
more of a public figure than the President.

I think the increasing use of CxO is getting out of hand, but generally,
it is for a position that is higher than a VP. While VPs have a
divisional focus, CxOs have a broader, company-wide focus. This, of
course, does not always hold.

I think the term General Manager, while still used somewhat, has gone out
of fashion. I think the basic hierarchy used is as follows (and
obviously, this is not always true - but seems common in many companies
I've dealt with):

Executive or Senior VP (often don't exist in smaller companies)
Director (of a division or product or something)
Analyst or Individual Contributor

or something along those lines... I've seen that in very different orders
as well.