Senior Vice President Vs Managing Director

Executives must climb the corporate ladder to be successful and there are many top management positions in larger companies. Learn about two such executive positions in this article and what can be expected from these careers.

Comparing Senior Vice President (VP) vs Managing Directors

Although many corporations and companies have a senior vice president and a managing director having some of their duties overlap, the two positions have key differences. In most places, senior vice presidents answer to the managing director and take charge of running the day-to-day activities. The managing director normally is a senior member of the company who meets with the board of directors in establishing goals and setting strategies. Below is information on both of these corporate positions and some major career information.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary* (2017) Job Growth** (2014-2024)
Senior VP, Operations Bachelor's degree $173,734 6% (for all top executives)
Managing Director Bachelor's degree $148,360 6% (for all top executives)

Sources: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Responsibilities of Senior VP vs Managing Directors

Senior vice presidents and managing directors are senior management members at a company or organization. These executives manage people and oversee departments working to meet the company goals using strategies decided on by the board and the managing directors. Senior vice presidents supervise the day-to-day functions of the organization. It is their job to make sure operations meet the company's standards and the laws of the state. Managing directors provide strategic ideas to the board, while supervising senior-level employees who are expected to help the company meet its goals.

Senior VP

The senior vice president takes orders from the managing director and works to engage the company's strategies. They are very knowledgeable of the organization's goals and internal policies. Senior vice presidents do a lot of hiring and firing and are also well versed with employee reviews and training practices. Key to a VPs success will be the ability to lead, guide and supervise employees and junior managers.

Job responsibilities of a senior vice president include:

  • Managing regions or divisions of a corporation
  • Monitoring profitability and loss assessment
  • Building infrastructure to ensure growth
  • Oversees daily accounting and assess financial goals
  • Optimizing operations to monitor performance and identify opportunities

Managing Director

The managing director controls the resources of the company and oversees the budgeting, expenditures and profits. Managing directors setup workflow procedures to control financial allocations. Directors are also expected to be excellent communicators in dealing with reports to the board or the public media. It's necessary and expected that managing directors establish and maintain good relationships with employees, vendors, clients and other managers. They must also have extensive knowledge of relevant federal and state laws.

Job responsibilities of a managing director include:

  • Facilitating implementation of policies and goals
  • Participating in teambuilding, training, and staff development
  • Supervising staff to evaluate work and advise as needed
  • Representing the company as its public face
  • Developing diplomatic solutions to solve employee/executive issues

Related Careers

Executives all start somewhere. Those who like the senior vice president job description could work a related career as a services support manager planning and running an organization's support system. Managing directors could consider a job as a financial manager channeling investments and creating financial reports for upper management and public consumption.

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