Top Positions in US and International Companies and Chief Officer Titles

The colonial period of British history has left a notable legacy: 67 countries and 27 territories have English as their official language. The United States of America, in its turn, is the country where the science of company management largely originated. Even though English is not an official language in the US (the country does not have any official languages), it is widely spoken there.

Thus, if you are planning to register a company abroad, you will benefit from knowing what the top positions are called in foreign companies. Below we describe the responsibilities of company administrators holding top positions often referred to as C-level jobs where ‘C’ stands for ‘Chief’. Together the chief company officers are called C-suite executives.

C-level positions

Chief Executive Officer

In all likelihood, you have heard and seen the acronym CEO – Chief Executive Officer. This is the highest position in the company (it is called Director General in some countries). The CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors or the company owner. The company CEO is above all department heads and his or her job is to oversee all business operations that the company conducts.

The CEO coordinates the activities of all company departments, acts as a company representative in the outside environment, and develops the overall business strategies together with the Board of Directors or business owners. He or she bears legal and administrative responsibilities for everything that the company employees do.

Chief Marketing Officer

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) reports to the CEO (and to the CPO if such a position exists in the company – see below) and his/ her job is to develop and implement marketing strategies. The CMO is responsible for increasing the popularity of the company brand(s) and promoting sales of the company products. In addition, the CEO keeps track of the feedback from the clients/ buyers.


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Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for development and implementation of budgetary policies of the company. In small- and medium-size companies, the Chief Accountant often bears this responsibility. The CFO controls all money flows in the company and distributes the company budget to various departments in cooperation with the CEO.

In addition to that, the CFO oversees the preparation of tax returns and other financial reports. If the company is engaged in financial services, the CFO’s role is crucial. In other cases, he or she is the third most important person in the company.  

Chief Accounting Officer

What is a CAO? It is the abbreviation for ‘Chief Accounting Officer’ title. The CAO (or Chief Accountant) is responsible for keeping the financial papers of the company in order. An important task that the CAO has is to minimize the company tax burden in legal ways. The CAO works closely with the CFO in what concerns the accounting reports. He or she participates in developing long-term financial strategies of the company. This is a high executive position, as the CAO normally reports directly to the CEO and/ or Board of Directors.

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Chief Information Officer

The acronym CIO meaning Chief Information Officer is not used as often as some of the acronyms discussed above. However, this executive position is becoming more and more important in the modern digitalized world. Every large company relies on ITs today and the CIO is the head of the company IT department.   

His or her responsibilities include everything related to the informational technologies, computer equipment, hardware, software, Internet connection and applications, and so on. If the company is engaged in the IT sphere of business, the CIO may even be on the Board of Directors. Besides, this executive closely cooperates with the security department because the importance of cybersecurity is growing these days.  

Chief Operating Officer

Not all companies have Chief Operating Officers (COO). If there is such a position in the company, the COO has wide areas of responsibility. These include marketing, sales, accounting, finance, etc. He or she oversees the daily company operations, as the title suggests. The COO reports directly to the CEO and provides consultation to the company head on a number of various business issues. The COO is responsible for making sure that the company operations run smoothly.  

Chief Security Officer

The Chief Security Officer (CSO) is a top executive position that large companies have. While the CSO used to be responsible only for the physical security of the company employees before, he/ she has new challenges today. In the digital era, hacker attacks and data theft have become real threats to the well-being of many business companies. For this reason, the CSO has to work closely with the company IT department in developing security protocols, combating phishing practices, and installing anti-malware applications. The CSO reports to the CEO or the Board of Directors.

We hope that the information about the executive positions in US and international companies and their titles is of use to you. If you would like to register a company in a foreign country, please contact us and choose the jurisdiction and the corporate structure that suits you best.  

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