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Q: Executive vs. Senior Vice President ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: Executive vs. Senior Vice President
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: darrenlu-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 08 Mar 2005 12:36 PST
Expires: 07 Apr 2005 13:36 PDT
Question ID: 486895
Traditionally, which is the more senior title? Executive Vice
President or Senior Vice President? What is the distinction?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Executive vs. Senior Vice President
From: myoarin-ga on 08 Mar 2005 17:34 PST
traditionally Executive VP was higher that Senior VP, as the latter
was only a step up from VP, with Junior VP maybe shoved in below VP,
which was obviously "junior", just better than Manager or Dept. Head.
This mulit-tiered heirarchy developed  - probably after World War II -
 with the expansion of companies and establishment of conglomerates,
companies owning several other companies.

"What is the distinction?"  ONe is more senior than the other, but
what that means in practice is very individual to the company.  It
could reflect a clear hierarchy, the EVP having more senior
responsibilty than an SVP, and so on.
But an EVP or SVP could just be a compliment to an older, long-time
employee, who had no more responsibility than someone with the lower
title.  Indeed, he might have been complimented to less responsibilty
with an obstensibly better title, but I would venture say, that EVP is
always likely to be a more serious title.

And then there is the matter of optics outside the company.  Banks
have lots of VPs, SVPs, even Directors, because it flatters their
customers when a senior-sounding representative calls on them, and
also because he will be talking with the VP or SVP for Finance, and it
looks better if the guy from the bank has an equivalent title, even
though within the bank he is practically just  a more senior lending
officer with a secretary and not much decision-making authority.

This can take funny forms.  In the Dresdner Bank in Germany, there are
Directors (not members of the Board of directors), who really have
broader responsibilty, and on the business cards under their name is
their title and the bank's name.
And then there are Directors, on whose cards their title of "Direktor"
is followed by "in der Dresdener Bank".  In the industry this is
apostrophied to "Inder".  "He is an 'Inder'"  "Inder" being the German
word for Indian.

Anyway, I hope you got the idea.  I could go on about a US bank that
decided to give all lending officers for corporate custerms the title
of Director, which was obviously so inflated that it meant nothing.
Subject: Re: Executive vs. Senior Vice President
From: darrenlu-ga on 08 Mar 2005 18:14 PST
That was a great explanation. Thank you for clarifying something that
has been bugging me for quite a while.
Subject: Re: Executive vs. Senior Vice President
From: myoarin-ga on 09 Mar 2005 08:15 PST
I'm glad I could help.  
You might also find it interesting that in simpler days, 20, 30 years
ago, the official expression for a stockbroker (the guy who handled
your account) was "customer's man".  He passed a test to qualify as
such, and from the floor of the exchange where the dealers were
shouting and waving at each other, he was just that:  A customer's rep
calling in with a bid or sell offer.  You didn't call him that, of
course, he was John or Mr. Doe.  Dates back from the time when such
were independent operators and carried on as the brokerage industry
expanded and they all worked for firms, and then the expression died
out and they became Asst. VPs or more.
Take care.

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