A vice president (British English – government: vice-president; business: director) is an officer in government or business who is below a president (managing director) in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president. A common colloquial term for the office is vee-pee, deriving from a phonetic interpretation of the abbreviation VP.
In government, a vice president is a person whose primary responsibility is to act in place of the president on the event of his or her death, resignation or incapacity. Vice presidents are either elected jointly with the president as his or her running mate, elected separately, or appointed independently after the president's election.
Most governments with vice presidents have one person in this role at any time, although in some countries there are two or more vice-presidents. If the president is not present, dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to fulfill his or her duties, the vice president will generally serve as president. In many presidential systems, the vice president does not wield much day-to-day political power, but is still considered an important member of the cabinet. Several vice presidents in the Americas held the position of President of the Senate; this is the case, for example, in Argentina, the United States, and Uruguay. The vice president sometimes assumes some of the ceremonial duties of the president, such as attending functions and events that the actual president may be too busy to attend; the Vice President of the United States, for example, often attends funerals of world leaders on behalf of the President. In this capacity, the vice president may thus assume the role of a de facto symbolic head of state, a position which is lacking in a system of government where the powers of head of state and government are fused.
In business, "vice president" refers to a rank in management. A trade union may also elect a vice president. Most companies that use this title generally have large numbers of people with the title of vice president with different categories (e.g. vice president for finance, or vice president in charge of hiring); their closest analogy within the US federal government structure is therefore not the Vice President as such, but a Cabinet Secretary. A vice president in business usually reports directly to the President or CEO of the company. When there are several vice presidents in a company they are sometimes ranked by naming the highest-ranking Senior Executive Vice President which is next to President, the second highest-ranking Executive Vice President, then Senior Vice President and the remainder of the management team just VP. The title of Assistant Vice President or Associate Vice President or Assistant President or Associate President is typically used in large organizations as a subordinate rank to Vice President.
In large brokerage firms and investment banks, there are usually several Vice Presidents in each local branch office, the title being sometimes a marketing approach for customers, than denoting an actual managerial position within the company.
A corporate vice president is rarely "second in line" to succeed the corporate president following death, dismissal, or resignation, though in the event of a sudden vacancy one or sometimes two of the vice presidents may act as president. New presidents are usually appointed by the board of directors.
Officer levels in business administration
- Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP): Deputy President
- Executive Vice President (EVP)
- Senior Vice President (SVP)
- Corporate Vice President or Vice President or First Vice President (CVP/VP/FVP)
- Assistant Vice President or Associate Vice President (AVP)
- Associate or Officer (Assoc/Officer)
- Microsoft: President - CVP - GM/VP - Partner
- Bank of America - Managing Director - Director - SVP - VP - AVP - Officer
- General Motors: President - EVP - GVP - SVP - GM VP(=CVP)
|Rank||U.S. Executive Officer||U.K. Executive Officer||Investment Bank Executive Officer|
|2||Deputy President or SEVP or EVP||Deputy Managing Director||Deputy President or SEVP or EVP|
|3||EVP or Group VP||Executive Director||Senior Managing Director|
|4||Senior Vice President||Director||Managing Director|
|5||CVP or VP (old type company)||Deputy Director||Executive Director|
Of course, this comparison is not strictly correct, as "director" is a legal term, meaning someone registered with the relevant country's company registrar (or simply named in the legal documents, for country's not having company registration) as having managerial control of the company, and having legal responsibility for its operation, whilst a Vice President does not.
In most clubs as well as other organizations, one or multiple Vice Presidents are elected by the members of the organization. When multiple vice presidents are elected, the positions are usually numbered to prevent confusion as to who may preside or succeed to the office of president upon vacancy of that office (for example: 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, and so on). In some cases vice presidents are given titles due to their specific responsibilities, for example: Vice President of Operations, Finance, etc. In some associations the First Vice President can be interchangeable with Executive Vice President and the remaining Vice Presidents are ranked in order of their seniority.
The primary responsibility of the Vice President of a club or organization is to be prepared to assume the powers and duties of the office of the President in the case of a vacancy in that office. If the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice President (or in clubs with multiple Vice Presidents, the VP that occupies the highest-ranking office), will assume the office of President, with the lower Vice Presidents to fill in the remaining Vice Presidencies, leaving the lowest Vice Presidency to be filled by either election or appointment. If the bylaws of a club specifically provide of the Officer title of President-Elect, that officer would assume the powers and duties of the President upon vacancy of that office.
- "vice", etymologyonlive.com