Leadership of a Japanese company


Senior Member
I would like to understand how the leadership of a Japanese company works, but I have doubts about the rank order and the functions of each top position of the company.

Could you please tell me the difference between:

社長 (President)
代表取締役 (Representative Director)
代表取締役社長 (??)
最高経営責任者 (CEO)
常務取締役 (Managing Director)

How are these positions ordered in rank and which function has each person?

If you could help me, I'd appreciate it a lot.
  • NyMedic1960

    In a way, 代表取締役 is a legal term that's used for registration. 代表取締役 and 社長 are essentially the same thing.代表取締役 is the official (legal) title and 社長 is a title set within the company.
    最高経営責任者 is the translation of CEO. CEO does not have the authority to make all business/legal decisions for the company like 代表取締役/社長 does.

    常務取締役 is also a position set by company and is not a title stipulated (I hope this word is close enough) by corporate law. 取締役 is.

    Thus, by corporate law, there are 代表取締役 (Representative Director) and 取締役 (Director). 代表取締役 is selected by 取締役会 (Board of Directors).
    And there are various titles in between them.