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Corporate Structure: Corporate Positions That Make Up a Company

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What are corporate positions?What is basic corporate structure?Common corporate positions

Guide Overview

Corporate positions 

Corporate positions are what make up a business. Each position and the overall hierarchy of the corporate structure are an important guide to making decisions and leading the company to meet its business goals. Understanding each position that contributes to a corporate structure can help you determine where your skills and experience fit. This article discusses some of the top corporate positions.

What are corporate positions?

Corporate positions make up the leadership team of a business. This could include the top-level decision-makers, such as the CEO or the COO. It could also include middle-management level, including directors of human resource or finance. Corporate positions create a hierarchy that sets the guidelines for making important decisions for the business, as well as determining who each position reports to when working toward goals.

Learn more: Why Climbing the Corporate Ladder Is No Longer the Ultimate Goal

What is basic corporate structure?

A typical corporate structure is made up of three groups: officers, directors, and shareholders. Each group is involved to different degrees with the daily operations of the business. 

The board of directors includes employees who direct the company and its activities. They are often involved in the creation of new contracts or policies. Some directors may also work for the company, whereas others may be completely hands-off. The board may be involved in making hiring decisions, identifying the goals of the business, or overcoming financial difficulties.

Corporate officers manage the day-to-day of the business. They are often appointed by the board of directors and may include positions like the CEO, CFO, COO, or even a secretary. They often have a specific background of experience in their industries, like accounting or finance. Corporate officers use this experience to provide consultation and make recommendations as to the direction of the company.

The shareholders of the corporation have an ownership interest in the company. This means they may have invested in the company and will attend shareholder meetings to discuss goals. In some corporations, shareholders may also work as corporate officers or directors. Other shareholders may be investors who are less involved with the decisions and daily duties of the business.

Common corporate positions

Understanding the different corporate positions, and their duties can help you choose a career path that uses your strengths and that you are sure to enjoy. Here are a few common corporate positions:

Executive assistant

Average base pay: $48,797 per year

An executive assistant assists high-ranking staff members within a business. They may work for the whole executive team, or they may be assigned to the CEO or COO. The executive assistant is in charge of administrative support, including managing phone calls, schedules, and any other task that’s important to the daily operations of the office. In some offices, they may also be in charge of facilitating interviews and hiring staff.

Chief contracting officer

Average base pay: $53,084 per year

The chief contracting officer (CCO) is in charge of reviewing and enforcing contracts. They are often employed by large organizations that deal with a large number of contracts. The COO ensures all aspects of the contract are being followed as listed, while also offering consultation to the executive team when considering new contracts. Some companies hire an internal CCO, whereas others use one on a contractual basis when going through a merger.

Marketing manager

Average base pay: $65,834 per year

The marketing manager works as an assistant to the CMO or director of marketing. They identify trends in marketing and implement strategies to reach marketing goals. The marketing manager works closely with sales representatives and the financial department to align business goals with financial ones. The marketing manager may be involved in both digital or print advertising, as well as identifying new areas of advertising.

Business analyst

Average base pay: $68,346 per year

The business analyst collaborates with the information technology department to use current resources to meet business needs. They create reports and present them to the executive team to assist with decisions. They also make recommendations on how best to use current processes to improve the sales of the business. The business analyst may also be involved in identifying solutions to current problems.

Chief financial officer

Average base pay: $72,000 per year

The chief financial officer (CFO) is in charge of a business’s finances. They manage profit and loss statements, while also tracking sources of revenue. They frequently re-evaluate the company’s budget and identify any areas of improvement. They also work with cash flow statements and balance sheets. They oversee certain departments within the company, including accounting.

Human resource manager

Average base pay: $78,377 per year

The human resource manager is responsible for hiring employees. They oversee the creation of job descriptions and listings. Then, they coordinate interviews or job fairs. They also oversee the hiring of employees, including paperwork and implementing training programs. The HR manager is also in charge of ensuring that the company follows all legal hiring protocols and laws while keeping up-to-date on these laws.

The human resource manager may also be a part of handling employee conflict. Some companies may have a vice president of human resources, depending on the size of the company.

Chief director of marketing

Average base pay: $107,332 per year

Depending on the size of the company, the marketing position may be filled by either a chief marketing officer (CMO), a vice president of marketing or a director of marketing. The CMO is in charge of creating marketing strategies to drive sales of the company. They track the results of certain marketing campaigns and use this information to reach new customers.

Chief operations officer

Average base pay: $130,632 per year

The chief operations officer (COO) may also be referred to as the vice president. The COO works closely with the CEO in identifying goals and implementing processes to reach those goals. They may be involved in hiring new corporate employees, as well as adjusting hiring practices for the company. They may also be a part of approving budgets or tracking spending. The COO is actively involved in the HR department.

Director of finance

Average base pay: $143,000 per year

The director of finance often works closely with the CFO on tracking finances and making financial decisions for the business. They are often involved in things like budgeting, payroll, and evaluating taxes. In some organizations, the director of finance will also work closely with the information technology department to identify and implement new programs, while maintaining the business’s budget.

Chief executive officer

Average base pay: $150,000 per year

The chief executive officer (CEO) may also be referred to as the president. The CEO is in charge of the day-to-day of the business. They track profits and losses and make important business decisions to guide the company toward financial success. The board will turn to the CEO when the company is doing well, or when they start to lose money, in search of a plan to improve sales.

Learn more: How to Survive (and Succeed In) An Interview with a CEO

Chief information security officer

Average base pay: $172,047 per year

Some companies may have a chief security officer (CSO). A CSO’s role is similar to a CTO, except that they are solely focused on the security aspects of technology. They may be involved in creating new security policies and identifying security threats. They are also in charge of ensuring that all credit card and financial systems within the business are compliant with security standards.

Chief accounting officer

Average base pay: $179,958 per year

The chief accounting officer (CAO) oversees the accounting department of a business. They manage the accounts, ensuring all reports are accurate and well-organized. They may frequently work with numerous ledgers, including assets, credits, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. When compared to the CFO, the CAO is more directly involved with the daily operations of the business, whereas the CFO focuses on the long-term financial goals.

Chief technology officer

Average base pay: $180,000 per year

The chief technology officer (CTO) oversees the many different technologies of a business. They may implement new sales systems or identify security threats to current processes. They may also help employees troubleshoot technology problems. The CTO is also a part of making decisions that will guide the technologies of the business in the future. They also ensure technologies allow them to reach goals.

Chief product officer

Average base pay: $196,461 per year

The chief product officer is in charge of managing products. They work closely with the CEO to identify improvements to current products. They also manage teams to create new products that are more in line with upcoming trends. The chief procurement officer position is more strategic and long-term compared to the CPO.

Chief procurement officer

Average base pay: $284,409 per year

The chief procurement officer (CPO) is in charge of procuring products. They often review contracts and identify discounts that can help add revenue to the business. They may work with suppliers to procure supplies or equipment that the business needs to make sales. They work closely with the CEO, as well as any other product officers.

The individual corporate positions that create a business will vary on the goals and needs of that specific business. Some larger corporations may have multiple upper-management, whereas, in smaller companies, one person may fulfill multiple roles. You can use Glassdoor’s review tool to learn more about the different corporate structures of some top companies.

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