Officers of corporations are appointed by the directors sitting on the board. The directors decide how many officers to install and the role each officer performs for the company. There are no specific requirements for being a corporate officer. Officers can also serve as company shareholders or directors.
Officers are expected to run the daily operations of the company. Examples of officer positions are chief executive officer, president, chief operating officer, secretary and treasurer. The board can create as many officer positions as it deems necessary to run the business. In smaller companies, one person may hold several officer positions. When a single person takes on the role of several offices, this increases that person's duty liabilities.
Directors and shareholders trust officers to carry out their duties competently. Officers are held liable for specific duties they are assigned. For example, the treasurer, or chief financial officer, is tasked with ensuring the company has enough funds to pay employees. Failure to carry out this important duty can lead to serious legal trouble for the officer in charge.
Officer roles are functional. For example, the role of a corporate secretary is to create, manage and maintain detailed records of company operations. This officer also records minutes for board meetings and keeps the company event calendar updated.