Korean Corporate Hierarchy

Unlike companies and corporations in the western nations, the Korean corporations and their positions are very hierarchical in their structure and organization. Job roles in Korean corporations are based on the length of service more than the job duties.  Thus for a foreigner starting in a Korean corporation, things can be very frustrating as they may not be able to get jobs based on their experience and age. The following is a detailed hierarchical structure in a typical Korean Corporation:

korean corporate hierarchy


The chairman or CEO is head of the ‘family’ in a Korean Corporate company and has a very high status which is also proof of the fact that he/she has given many years of service to that company.  The CEO sets the goals for the company and also makes the major decisions for it.

President / COO

The president or the COO is the right hand man to the CEO and any person working on this position is mostly the head of a certain business division. He/she also holds a lot of decision making powers.

Executive Vice President / CFO

Under the COO comes the Executive Vice President who heads the finance department and is hence also known as the CFO.

Vice President

The Vice President plays a very important role in a corporate company in Korea as he/she heads all the departments and synchronizes their working.


Most of the departments are headed and lead by a director who works under the Vice President and is the one who makes the important decisions for the entire group of workers working in that particular department.

Department Head

Department heads sit on top of the hierarchical structure for most departments when a director isn’t appointed.  Department head gives instructions, heads projects and makes sure that the department delivers all its goals and objectives within the budget.

Team Leader / Head Manager / Senior Manager

TheSenior manager of a particular department is the most experienced of all the other managers and is the person responsible for managing and administering the departments and leading the entire team towards the successful completion of projects is called the team leader or senior manager.


A manager is an important person working in each department and makes sure duties are implemented and executed in the most proper way.

The following are some of the other job positions that can be found in Korean Corporate Hierarchy:

  • Junior manager
  • executive
  • Secretary
  • Clerk

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