Senior Vice President (SVP) Job Description

These are executives who work for companies and typically report to the CEO or the president

Author: Himanshu Singh
Himanshu Singh
Himanshu Singh
Investment Banking | Private Equity

Prior to joining UBS as an Investment Banker, Himanshu worked as an Investment Associate for Exin Capital Partners Limited, participating in all aspects of the investment process, including identifying new investment opportunities, detailed due diligence, financial modeling & LBO valuation and presenting investment recommendations internally.

Himanshu holds an MBA in Finance from the Indian Institute of Management and a Bachelor of Engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology.

Reviewed By: Patrick Curtis
Patrick Curtis
Patrick Curtis
Private Equity | Investment Banking

Prior to becoming our CEO & Founder at Wall Street Oasis, Patrick spent three years as a Private Equity Associate for Tailwind Capital in New York and two years as an Investment Banking Analyst at Rothschild.

Patrick has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School and a BA in Economics from Williams College.

Last Updated:December 19, 2023

What Is A Senior Vice President (SVP)?

Senior vice presidents are executives who work for companies and typically report to the CEO or the president. They are in charge of a specific division (like engineering or marketing) or business area.

An elite managerial position known as an SVP is frequently seen in American businesses. 

Only substantial organizations employ all kinds of vice presidents. Each vice president is in charge of a particular department inside the company. For instance, businesses frequently hire a vice president of operations, finance, or sales. 

All vice presidents of a massive organization report to the SVP, who are answerable to the president of the business. 

SVPs are employed by three types of businesses: international, financial, and academic institutions.

Management sets the strategic course for a large company in each of the three types. The company's performance as a whole depends on the direction of executives and the clarity of reporting lines.

International companies with operations and interests spread over several areas frequently switch to a management structure with an SVP. Each nation or region may have multiple vice presidents.

They all answer to the SVP, who coordinates business operations throughout the region and assures adherence to the company's principles and rules.

They are also in charge of making choices that impact the entire area and would have presidential-level authority and decision-making responsibilities in a smaller organization.

In the financial industry, they serve both structural and marketing purposes. At least one vice president in each branch office answers to the SVP.

At this level, the vice president's duties include:

  • Assisting the administration of wealthy investors.
  • Money management procedures.
  • Ensuring a senior staff is on hand to support complex decision-making and problem-solving.

An SVP's responsibilities in an academic organizational structure include overseeing the vice presidents and serving at the highest level of interaction with the board of governors.

These positions are frequently found in big institutions or universities with numerous sites and professional programs. The answer to the governing board and immediately answer to the president for all decisions.

Despite being one of the highest positions in an organization, they are not automatically considered for the presidency should they become open.

The abilities needed to be president are heavily weighted toward decision-making, presentations, and people management. They prioritize communication, problem-solving, and crisis management.

Key takeaways

  • Executives who work for companies as SVPs answer to the CEO or the President. They are in charge of a specific department or section of the company.
  • In an academic organizational system, an SVP's duties include supervising the vice presidents and acting as the board of governors' highest level of contact.
  • They should create business strategies, set company goals, create and distribute budgets, and evaluate employee performance.
  • Both executive VP and SVP are high-ranking executive positions that highlight an employee's value and accomplishments to the firm, but one has far more authority and decision-making ability.
  • There are several job opportunities available as VPs in large businesses. For example, growth managers and chief development officers require comparable management and senior-level decision-making skills.

The roles of a Senior Vice President 

SVPs create organizational objectives, such as maximizing income and addressing internal problems as they arise.

They monitor Vice Presidents and managers and assess the effectiveness of each department. Additionally, they guarantee that workers follow all company rules.

Their duties can include:

  • Developing corporate strategies and establishing company objectives
  • making and distributing budgets
  • Performance evaluation.

Their duties and requirements can differ between businesses or departments. Therefore, think carefully about the specifics you must include when writing the SVP job description.

With relevant expertise, they are needed to join the senior management group. They manage the VPs and managers in your department.

They monitor and assess your department's daily performance, ensuring all rules are followed.

They also perform market research, make budgetary decisions, etc. Therefore, extensive managerial experience in this industry is a need for success in this position, as are strong analytical and strategic thinking skills.

Overall, they contribute to the growth and development of our company through this function.

They own the following responsibilities:

  • Daily operations in brief.
  • Establish performance and budgetary objectives and lead the team to achieve them.
  • Evaluates the performance of the entire team and each team member.
  • Create and distribute budgets.
  • Conducts research to find fresh business opportunities.
  • Look for new tools and techniques for the company.
  • Discusses company strategy with other executives and SVPs.
  • Evaluates the profitability and income of the department and look at the risks.
  • Ensure adherence to company policies and state, local, and federal laws.
  • Create and accept the department's hiring strategy.
  • Aide and assist VPs and supervisors.
  • Qualifications and abilities.

  • Strong project management and budgeting skills, expertise in this area, and a thorough knowledge of business operations (Sales, Engineering, etc.).
  • Proven track record and aptitude for developing and implementing strategies.
  • Working familiarity with performance metrics and data analysis.
  • Excellent leadership and planning abilities.
  • Become a good team player.
  • Business management degree or comparable qualification.

They frequently hold the second-highest position in the organization, making them capable of taking over when necessary. They also work to achieve the business's marketing and financial goals while fostering great relationships with clients.

As a result, an organization's financial objectives are maximized, internal processes are monitored, and strong customer relationships are helped to develop. Additionally, they have responsibilities for managing particular departments to guarantee business success.

Executive VP v.s Senior VP

The duties of executive vice president and senior vice president are generally typical in terms of their responsibilities, even though titles in large businesses and organizations can be complicated and occasionally challenging to follow.

Both roles are high-ranking executive positions demonstrating an individual's importance and contributions to the company. Still, one post has far more authority, decision-making power, and higher income potential.

While a firm or organization usually only has one president, there may be several vice presidents who are all ranked according to seniority and are distinguished by the duties and particular departments they are in charge of. 

Typically, the chain is ordered from highest to lowest seniority in a company: Executive vice president — Senior vice president — Associate, or assistant vice president. Usually, executive vice presidents are of a higher rank.

Many professionals progress through the ranks; each level brings more seniority, responsibility, and pay. Likewise, A senior vice president is lower in status than an executive vice president, who typically has executive decision-making authority. 

The executive vice president may receive reports from other vice presidents in this position, which often serve as the company's second in command to the president.

Senior Vice Presidents

They are typically vice presidents who have moved up the corporate ladder and are given titles in large part because of their tenure and experience.

They own a vital position on a company's management team and answer directly to the CEO or president. They are also responsible for the company's operations, whether they succeed or fail.

They are responsible for creating the company's budget, strategic plan, and other plans. They also collaborate closely with other divisions to ensure the business runs successfully.

On the corporate ladder, associate and assistant vice presidents are usually ranked below this person, who is typically the highest-ranking vice president. 

He might also hold other titles like senior vice president of operations or senior vice president of corporate development.

In certain companies, they oversee the work of the other vice presidents. However, in other companies, they are merely the position with the highest title. 

Vice presidents of divisions typically take personal responsibility for specific business operations of their respective departments. They may benefit from specializing in a particular area of business, such as finance, from succeeding in their position. 

As an illustration, management might be impressed by their abilities and advance them to positions of this level.

Executive Vice President

A senior vice president is lower in status than an executive vice president, who typically has executive decision-making authority. 

The executive vice president or EVP is a C-Suite level below. The term "C-Suite" refers to an organization's top management team, which includes the CEO, CFO, EVP, and other influential executives.

An Executive VP carries out the tasks of an EVP and SVP. This position's executives are in charge of the business's performance and the well-being of its workers.

The executive vice president may receive reports from other vice presidents in this position, which often serve as the company's second in command to the president.

As the executive VP is frequently in charge of strategic planning, financial considerations, and the operational and financial health of the firm, the post typically carries a lot of power and responsibility.

When making important decisions, others contact the executive VP, who frequently acts in the president's place. 

To ensure high-performance levels inside a business, an executive VP may also be in charge of the professional development of lower-level executives.

Although there are no minimum educational requirements for senior executives in a firm, this level of progress often requires at least a high school graduation, college and advanced degrees, and extensive demonstrable experience in the field.

Many people pursue a bachelor’s or master's degree in business administration for job advancement. Candidates seeking executive vice president roles frequently need master's degrees or even doctorates to be considered. 

Professionals must work for years in this position before being promoted to high-level executive positions.

Responsibilities of an Executive VP and a Senior VP

Most businesses only have one president. They might, however, have vice presidents at different levels. All senior-level officials who report to the president and CEO are vice presidents.

Although all vice presidents perform comparable administrative, management, and leadership roles, their job titles, ranks, and responsibilities may vary depending on their work organization.

A president or CEO's immediate subordinate is an executive vice president. They can therefore command other senior executives in their organization.

They might also work on creating long-term plans to expand their business. In most cases, executive vice presidents are located at corporate headquarters. They can be required to go to networking events after business hours. An executive vice president can attain President or CEO.

Employers may expect these people to have a master's degree and up to ten years of relevant experience. A bachelor's degree and lots of experience might be necessary for some jobs.

An executive vice president's duties may include the following:

  • Name departmental leaders
  • Create a company's overall culture, spending plan, plan, and objectives
  • Oversee and organize all groups and divisions within their organization
  • Create department policies or draft contracts in conjunction with legal staff
  • Work to put strategies into effect that the board of directors of an organization has approved.

On the other hand, a vice president with substantial managerial experience is referred to as an SVP.

They might be given control over other vice presidents because of their seniority. In addition, they must coordinate departments within their organization. Thus they have excellent management and leadership skills.

They frequently work in offices, albeit they might not be located at the corporate headquarters of their employers. These people, like executive vice presidents, require a bachelor's or master's degree and ten to fifteen years of relevant experience.

Their responsibilities are different from that in such ways. For example:

  • Create a company's overall culture, spending plan, plan, and objectives
  • Make recommendations for organizational changes to assist a corporation in achieving its objectives
  • Report to the president, the CEO, or the COO

Within the executive levels of giant corporations, there are numerous career options. Chief development officers and growth managers need management and senior-level decision-making abilities similar to those of vice presidents. 

If you want to work your way up the corporate ladder, you might consider a career in one of these fields.

Becoming a Senior Vice President

In the United States, senior vice presidents receive an estimated $214,968 in total compensation each year, with an average salary of $191,640, which is very attractive for many people who want to become an SVP.

The anticipated annual wage increase is $23,328. Additional pay may take the form of cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit sharing.

All salary data currently available for this role falls between the 25th and 75th percentile, with numbers of "Most Likely Range" falling in that range.

They frequently collaborate with the organization's CEO to ensure that business goals are rapidly met. In addition, they work closely with the team to ensure their employees reach their full potential.

To become an SVP, one needs to follow the following steps:

1. Acquire a degree

Such presidents frequently have a business degree or degrees in a similar profession, like MBA. Choose a course of study depending on the industry you want to work in, such as marketing, technology, or finance.

2. Regularize your aims

The senior vice president is a term many businesses use to describe an employee's background and value to the organization—set objectives for consistent improvement and internal promotions.

3. Obtain industry knowledge

Increasing your business knowledge, giving presentations at conferences, and writing for trade magazines are ways to make yourself a competitive applicant for a vice president role.

4. Do networking

An employee must have leadership potential and interpersonal skills to advance to senior vice president. Networking with others may help you stand out as a top candidate when roles open up.

A capable leader who can confidently assume charge when called upon is what makes a strong senior vice president. They are expected to be organized, good at communicating, and capable of making wise decisions.

They should also be competent analysts to make the best choices for their organization.

Researched and Authored by Xinuye Xu

Reviewed and edited by Parul Gupta | LinkedIn

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