When you’re addressing (talking to) someone, particularly in the workplace, job titles are important. Being respectful is very helpful at work, and can take you far (bring you success). When talking to someone, it’s helpful to know whether they’re a CEO or an intern. But what do all of these different job titles mean?

You may have heard of different job titles before, but what exactly do they mean? If you aren’t sure what the difference between a CEO and CFO are, then this blog may just be for you.

CEO – Chief Executive Officer

The CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, heads up (leads) the company. If a company is new, the CEO will generally be the person who came up with the idea for the company. CEOs can change over time, if the former CEO retires, leaves for another company, is fired, or passes away (dies).

For example:

  • Tim Cook became the CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs passed away.
  • I want to start my own company, but I know nothing about being a CEO!

COO – Chief Operating Officer

The COO, or Chief Operating Officer, is the second in command to the CEO. They oversee the company along with the CEO, and COOs come from many different backgrounds (fields, experiences, etc.). This is a very diverse (varied) role, as everything — from research to production to marketing to sales — could be under the control of the COO.

For example:

  • He came from a sales background, but she was just promoted to the position of COO.
  • Our COO left and went to a different company, but there are rumors that he was actually fired.

CFO – Chief Financial Officer

A CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, holds the senior financial position in a company, and oversees everything having to do with finance. This could be things like tracking cash flow (how much money moves in and out of a company), analyzing the financial strengths (positives) and weaknesses (negatives) of a company, and financial planning for the future. This is a very important role in a company, as companies can’t run (go, function) without money!

For example:

  • The CFO gave a presentation in January outlining the budget for the next year.
  • According to the CFO, we don’t have as much money as we first thought. We’re going to have to make some cuts.

CCO – Chief Content Officer

If you work in a company that produces a lot of content (text, pictures, films, graphics) you may have a CCO, or Chief Content Officer. As with the other senior roles, the CCO is responsible for everything surrounding (involving, about) content. They will oversee editorial and research departments, graphics, film, or anything else that can be used as content in a company.

For example:

  • Our new CCO has an impressive record. She used to work at the New York Times!
  • The CCO wants to put more content on our website to help reach a broader network of people.

Vice President

Some companies may have a Vice President. A Vice President will assist the CEO or President of a company with making decisions and handling legal issues that may arise (come up). Some companies may have a senior Vice President, which is the top role, and an assistant Vice President, which is the more junior (lower) role.

For example:

  • The Vice President went with the CEO to New York to help negotiate (arrange, work out) a deal.
  • The Vice President helped the CEO reach a decision on whether to accept the terms of the merger or not.


A manager, quite simply, manages people or a product. They oversee the day-to-day operations of a company and may have a team of employees under them. A sales manager, for example, will have a certain product that they are trying to sell and will have clients that they are responsible for. A research manager, on the other hand, may have a team of researchers under them that they are responsible for. The title of manager has many different aspects to it, and many different responsibilities attached (associated with it), which are dependent on (reliant, need support from) the specific role.

For example:

  • My manager asked me to have a presentation ready by Tuesday.
  • The sales manager traveled to Ohio to visit a prospective client.

What are some of the job titles at your workplace? What job title do you hold? What are some of your responsibilities? Share with us in the comments below!

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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and enjoys talking to people about the responsibilities that come with their job titles.

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