What is a General Manager?
A General Manager (GM) is an executive / senior role within a company, overseeing most or all of a firm's functions. Contrary to functional managers, GMs have a broad, overall responsibility for profit and loss in a company (or a major part of it), and they manage across all or at least multiple functions (i.e., finance, marketing, operations).
DEFINITION OF A GENERAL MANAGER
A general manager
is a person who has a broad, overall, general management responsibility for a particular business or organization or some substantial area of it.
JOB TITLES of GENERAL MANAGERS
Persons having a general management
responsibility may be called in various ways and hold many different job titles, including (but not limited to):
- Senior Vice-President (SVP)
- Vice-President (VP)
- Regional Vice-President (Regional VP)
- Senior Partner
- Managing Director (MD)
- General Manager (GM)
- Country Manager
- Segment Manager
- Regional Manager
- District Manager
- Branch Manager
CHARACTERISTICS OF GENERAL MANAGERS
People performing the above mentioned jobs are all general managers. What sets a GM apart is that he or she has a broad, overall, general management responsibility
for a particular area of a business or organization. Unlike a functional manager who has a responsibility just for a particular function, like HR, Logistics, Finance, Marketing, etc.
Another thing what distinguishes a GM is that he or she is typically a generalist
, while a functional manager is typically a specialist.
A generic management education
like business administration, business economics or business law, and/or a broad experience
with multiple functions in the company are a typical background.
Typically a GM ranks higher
and has a higher salary
than functional managers when they are in the same part of the organization. On the other hand, a CFO with the finance responsibility for an entire multinational ranks higher and earns more than the GM of the Italian subsidiary of that firm.