Organizational Structure

What Is the Typical Org Chart for a Tech Startup?

By Iterate Team

Last updated: Feb 15, 2023

Org charts are a great way for tech startup leaders to manage their companies and grow their operations. What does a typical tech startup org chart look like?

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Organizational structure must be central to any company’s long-term strategy. The right structure can improve communication, boost productivity and open new doors — but the wrong structure can spell disaster.

This is especially true for growing tech startups. In a startup’s earliest stages, structure is often vague. Team members may fill multiple roles with overlapping duties. While this system works at the start, it can’t last.

As the startup grows, it’s important to establish clear boundaries for departments and roles. Everyone should know what they’re responsible for and who they report to. Creating an org chart for your company is key to this process.

But what should your org chart look like? To help you get started on the right foot, let’s take a look at the typical org chart for a startup.

What positions should appear on a tech startup’s org chart?

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO is at the top of almost every startup’s reporting structure. As the head of the company, the CEO guides its strategy and takes responsibility for its success or failure.

CEO responsibilities:

  • Creating a vision for the company
  • Establishing long-term goals
  • Developing business strategies
  • Managing the company’s social responsibility
  • Representing the startup as the “face” of the company
  • Avoiding potential threats to the company’s future
  • Leading by example

Alternate titles:

  • President
  • Owner

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The COO oversees the company’s operational tasks. In most startups, the COO is second-in-command to the CEO. One way to think about this: The CEO plans the big-picture strategy for the company, and the COO makes it happen.

COO responsibilities:

  • Collaborating with the CEO to develop business strategies
  • Managing the day-to-day operations of the company
  • Getting involved in operations when necessary
  • Working closely with other department heads
  • Presenting reports for the CEO on the status of the company

Alternate titles:

  • VP of Operations
  • Director of Operations
  • Head of Operations

VP of Product

The VP of Product is in charge of the company’s product strategy. Just as the CEO is ultimately responsible for the success of the company, the VP of Product is responsible for the success of the product itself.

VP of Product responsibilities:

  • Researching potential customers
  • Analyzing any data relating to the customer base
  • Creating a product strategy that answers the customers’ needs
  • Working with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to execute that strategy
  • Helping the CTO to iterate and optimize the product

Alternate titles:

  • Chief Product Officer (CPO)
  • Head of Product
  • Product Manager
  • Product Owner
  • Director of Product Management

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

The CTO manages all of the startup’s technical needs. This includes working on the product and dealing with any internal IT issues the company encounters.

While the VP of Product is primarily responsible for designing the product, the CTO takes that design and brings it to life. This requires a great deal of collaboration between both roles.

CTO responsibilities:

  • Executing the VP of Product’s vision for the product
  • Suggesting improvements to the VP of Product
  • Iterating and optimizing the product as necessary
  • Resolving any IT issues within the company
  • Recommending upgrades for the company’s technical systems

Alternate titles:

  • Chief Technologist
  • VP of Technology
  • Head of Engineering

Head of Growth

Rapid growth is essential to the survival of any startup. The Head of Growth leads the growth team in seizing opportunities to scale the company as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Head of Growth responsibilities:

  • Conducting research to find the best opportunities for growth
  • Planning how to take advantage of those opportunities
  • Working with other department heads to execute growth strategies

Alternate titles:

  • Chief Growth Officer (CGO)
  • Growth Manager
  • Director of Growth
  • VP of Growth

VP of Marketing

For early-stage startups, the Head of Growth may handle marketing. However, with time, a separate marketing department should emerge — helmed by a VP of Marketing. The VP of Marketing spreads awareness for the product and company brand.

VP of Marketing responsibilities:

  • Exploring marketing opportunities
  • Researching the customer base
  • Crafting marketing strategies that appeal to the target audience
  • Advertising the product’s benefits and value
  • Strengthening the company’s brand image

Alternate titles:

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) directs the startup’s finances. This means ensuring that the company’s funds are used as efficiently as possible — and that they don’t run out.

CFO responsibilities:

  • Developing the company’s financial strategy
  • Keeping track of all company funds
  • Planning fundraising operations
  • Maintaining the right balance of cash flow, debt and equity
  • Drafting reports for the CEO on the company’s finances
  • Steering the company away from potential fraud risks
  • Overseeing payments for all employees
  • Conducting internal audits as needed
  • Managing the company’s tax obligations

Alternate titles:

  • Director of Finance
  • VP of Finance
  • Head of Finance
  • Finance Manager

VP of Business Development

The VP of Business Development is responsible for expanding the company’s operations. This often includes securing strategic partnerships and opening new sources of revenue.

VP of Business Development responsibilities:

  • Understanding the company’s place in the market
  • Researching competitors
  • Performing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis
  • Working with the sales and marketing departments to increase revenue
  • Traveling to industry conferences and trade shows
  • Identifying and vetting potential business partners
  • Negotiating partnership deals
  • Communicating with current partners

Alternate Titles:

  • Head of Business Development
  • Director of Business Development
  • Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO)
  • Business Development Manager

Director of Sales

The Director of Sales manages the sales department. This involves discovering leads and reaching out to potential customers to pitch the product directly. Their goal is to generate interest, guide prospects through an established sales funnel and close deals.

Director of Sales responsibilities:

  • Setting sales targets
  • Developing effective sales funnels
  • Identifying sales leads
  • Pitching the product to prospects
  • Assisting with major transactions

Alternate titles:

  • Head of Sales
  • Sales Director
  • VP of Sales

Customer Success Manager

Customer success is all about helping customers get the most value out of the product. The Customer Success Manager educates and assists customers as needed. Ideally, they should also proactively consider potential issues with the product and solve them before they become a problem.

Customer Success Manager responsibilities:

  • Onboarding new customers
  • Ensuring that existing customers are satisfied with the product
  • Answering customers’ questions
  • Resolving any problems a customer may have
  • Anticipating customer needs
  • Educating customers about the full capabilities of the product

Alternate titles:

  • Chief Customer Officer (CCO)
  • Director of Customer Success
  • Head of Customer Success
  • VP of Customer Success
  • Director of Customer Experience

VP of People

The VP of People is tasked with hiring employees and maintaining a healthy company culture. The end goal for the VP of People is to ensure that the company is staffed with happy and productive workers.

VP of People responsibilities:

  • Advertising for open job positions
  • Scouting for top talent
  • Recruiting new employees
  • Onboarding fresh hires
  • Overseeing employee development programs
  • Resolving conflict in the workplace
  • Conducting employee performance reviews
  • Fostering a strong, inclusive company culture
  • Drafting employee conduct policies

Alternate titles:

Does your startup have an org chart?

If you haven’t built an org chart for your startup yet, there’s no better time than the present. An org chart will give you a bird’s-eye view of exactly how your company is structured — and how it could be improved. Plus, an org chart will help you:

Create your free public org chart today.

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  • Showcase your company culture to a vast community of professionals
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