Yeah, she owns this shit.
CEO Chief Executive Officer
This is your boss.
COO Chief Operational Officer
This is also your boss, and the one who knows how the logistics chain works.
CCO Chief Creative Officer
The CCO is your boss, but only if you use a Mac, know photoshop, and don’t have to wear a tie to work.
CTO Chief Technology Officer
The CTO is not your boss, but you wish she was. They get to play with all the cool stuff down there – well, until it breaks, and then it’s hell-on-18-wheels for 60 straight hours until you finally get it fixed.
CFO Chief Financial Officer
From the day you are first hired your goal is to get some kind of dirt on the CFO so you can claim Hawaiian vacations and Vegas junkets as fully-refundable “vitally important conferences on the future viability of our industry”. Also: the CFO is probably the only one who knows which side to bet on in the eventual IPO or sale of the company. *Do Not Cross*
General Counsel or CLO Chief Legal Officer
Senior Vice Presidents
Used to be your boss, but they got a new title and a pay raise and now they seemingly don’t do squat anymore except drop into your department twice a year, are present at endless meetings at corporate, and [if you’re lucky and blackmailing your CFO] you’ll run into them at those Hawaii and Vegas conferences.
VP of [insert geographic region, business segment, core operational function, or Special Strategic Project]
Your Boss. It’s not that work gets done at this level, but this is where the reports are generated that describe the work that is being done. *note: the reports are actually researched and written by plebes much further down, but the VP’s office is where they are ‘generated’
Junior Vice President
ignorable. That said: if they offer you this job, step over the rapidly-cooling corpses of your peers to take it, as it’s a nice paycheck, cushy office, little responsibility, and easily delegatable duties and assignments. Just remember: when the stock takes a nosedive and corporate is looking at layoffs, yours is the only name on the list.
Spokesman, Media Liason, Corporate Communications Director, SVP for Communications and Public Affairs, et al.
The job title varies depending on how long one stays in the role and how good you’ve been at it, but it’s all the same: Mouthpiece. Damage Control. Shaping and Spinning the Message. Often this is just some JVP who has to write boring (intentionally boring, bonus if it can also be misleading and obfuscatory) press releases, but this one junior flack often has more influence on the daily stock price than anyone except the Chairman/Founder/CEO.
Regional Directors, District Offices, “Field” Management, Corporate Trainers & “Regional Training Managers”
oh god. For those of you working in corporations that have this many levels of management hanging over your head: oh god, I’m so sorry you poor, dumb bastard.
Branch Management & Store Managers
Well, this is where the work gets done and the money is actually made: Responsible for everything – but unable to change anything.
Department Manager [store level]
enjoy that extra $1 an hour.
SO: all this corporate baggage and “strategery” and “long term” and reports and graphs and power point presentations mean exactly jack.
No matter how much you think SVPs and VPs and JVPs and RMs and DMs and corporate initiatives and “sales focus” and contests and merchandising updates and stock re-lays and new products and ALL THAT CRAP matters
…it comes down to your lowest-level smallest-cog front-line employee.
Is this person a full-time employee with appropriate product knowledge, a generally engaging demeanor, and both the experience and training to handle your day-to-day business — or, just-kind-of-imagining-a-worst-case-scenario here — has the company’s endless quest to “control costs” meant that your primary customer interface is now a student working part time (with no hope of promotion, or of ever going full-time with benefits) who just wants to get through the damn 6pm-11pm shift and go home so they can [study/get drunk/get laid/sleep/get back to coding that app that’s going to be a 7-figure IPO/blog/do laundry/pick-any-three]?
*special shout-out and congrats to those of you who parsed that last sentence: you’re my peeps.
Please remember, corporate America: To the vast majority of the public you are nothing – the corporation is often invisible unless it happens to share a name with the brand. Your Whole Company is in the hands of a part-timer earning minimum wage – and this poor sod is as invested in your success as you are invested in them.
That is to say: the outlook isn’t good. Much of corporate America is so very, very fucking lucky Unions are out-of-vogue and largely impotent, because there hasn’t been this strong of a catalyst for unions since 1880.