Having worked in a number of truly global companies, both as an employee and as a consultant, I find that different companies put different meanings to the titles.

In one company that I was doing some consultancy work for had a couple of VP’s with basically the same responsibilities as a Manager in several other companies.

Another company had Presidents and Managing Directors in sales companies in very small countries, looking at turnover.
The guys heading a couple of factories with Product line responsibility (product development, global sourcing and global deliveries), thousands of employees and turnover at end-customer 100 times as high as the Presidents were called Plant Managers or Factory Managers. Both the sales directors and factory managers had full P&L-responsibility.

As I understand, this varies from country to country and one from company culture to another. Is this the case or do you see any major trend?

Also: It would be fun to see a ranking list. Understanding that there is a risk do draw focus away from the question above: Here’s my list from bottom to top, taken from a company that actually had all these positions. Please comment.
Manager, General Manager, Senior Manager, Director, VP, Senior VP, Exec VP, CEO


rachaelip's picture
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I think the practices vary across companies and cultures. About 2 years ago, the large multinational corporation for which I work decided to standardize job titles across the globe. As a result a number of "Vice Presidents" in Europe became "Technical Managers" so that their titles were consistent with their US counterparts.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

I've had the same job title 4 times (3 with the same employer and all times in the same city let alone country) for 4 very different jobs. But that's IT and it's not unusual in IT to find a dozen people with the same job title all doing different jobs, especially when the word 'Analyst' is involved.


TomW's picture
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Titles can even mean different things in different industries or companies.

I think titles have a lot more to do with corporate culture than with a specific industry.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Nothing is standardized anymore. As companies keep downsizing and asking people to do more with less, job spans are increasing and titles are sometimes being used as compensation.

Other times, titles are just corporate fun. I know of a person who works for an online gaming company whose title is VP of Poker. If my dad was working today, he would be a certified financial planner. Ten years ago, he was a sales rep.


pmoriarty's picture
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In my experience in the US, general manager is usually a much more senior title that implies P&L responsibility for an operating division inside a company.