Corporate officers manage and oversee a corporation's daily operations and have the legal authority with their specific roles to act on the corporation's behalf. Corporate officers, appointed by the corporation's board of directors, are not personally liable for their lawful actions when conducting the corporation's business.
The president or chief executive officer is ultimately responsible for everything the corporation does and those who do it. The president approves all legally-binding actions of the corporation and reports directly to the board of directors, acting on its behalf, sometimes by corporate resolution. Other officers report to the president.
Depending on statutory requirements and corporate structure, the corporation appoints either a vice-president, who stands in when the president is not available and assumes other duties as assigned by the board, or a chief operating officer. The chief operating officer manages all of the corporation's day-to-day operational activities, including personnel, program development and marketing.
The treasurer or chief financial officer oversees the corporation's financial dealings such as budgeting, investments, capital expenditures, reporting and compliance. The final corporate officer is secretary. The secretary's duties include maintaining the records of the corporation and preparing minutes and other materials for the board, shareholders or outside parties as appropriate.