In the world of traditional business, a job title -- like its placement in the company org chart -- is as important as the size, location and furnishings of one's office. It telegraphs the job holder's function and hierarchy in a few carefully selected words.
But in some cutting-edge firms, where pushing boundaries and thinking about and doing business in different ways is the name of the game, job titles can reflect a company's maverick sensibilities. And for high-ranking employees with roles in sustainability or corporate social responsibility, their titles may also serve as value statements in brief.
Here are 10 job titles that caught our eye at GreenBiz.com. While they are the exceptions rather than the norm, we thought they deserved mention for their wit, audacity or the sheer scope of the job holder's responsibilities -- and three are for positions created in the past six months.
- Chief Inspired Protagonist Jeffrey Hollender of Seventh Generation is also the executive chairperson of the eco-friendly household and personal care products firm he cofounded in 1988. The company takes it name from Iroquois teachings that "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."
- Chief Greenskeeper Adam Lowry founded Method with Chief Brand Architect Eric Ryan almost a decade ago. The Cradle-to-Cradle certified maker of green personal and household cleaning products is known for its eye-catching, minimalist packaging and concentrated formulas.
- Green Giant Drummond Lawson is environmental strategist at Method and part of a team that prides itself on out-of-the-box products, professional titles and blogging handles.
- Stonyfield CE-Yo Gary HIrshberg and Honest Tea President and TeaEO Seth Goldman added their own twists to the chief executive title. Stonyfield makes organic yogurt and Honest Tea makes beverages made from organic tea. We counted their titles as one since they are variations on a theme.
- Google's Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl oversees energy strategy for the company in its quest to make renewable energy ubiquitous and cheaper than coal.
- Senior Director and Director of Yahoo! for Good, Meg Garlinghouse and Erin Carlson, respectively. The title and its variant blend the traditional directorship heading with Yahoo!'s in-your-face name for the unit that oversees the firm's sustainability and social responsibility initiatives.
- AT&T's Executive Director of Energy John Schinter was appointed to the newly established position last winter. Though the title might not turn heads, the breadth of responsibility may well. AT&T established the post to marshal efficiency and conservation efforts across all its energy-consuming business units, and to direct the company's energy purchasing strategies.
- Arnco Green Enabling Officer Bill Hory is the first to hold the position. The GEO position created by Arnco, one of the world's largest suppliers of polyurethane products, is believed to be the first of its kind, the company said in announcing the appointment last December.
- Sustainability ambassador is a title that's gaining currency in the business world and with a broader general audience. In 2009, for example, two-time Olympic Gold medalist James Cracknell was named sustainability ambassador by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.
- Chief Greening Officer Eleni Reed is now at the helm of the U.S. General Services Administration's program to incorporate greener practices throughout the government's building inventory of 1,500 owned and 8,100 leased facilities. The agency created the position in February to accelerate efforts toward President Barack Obama's federal sustainability agenda.
Have you or your company created new titles or positions for the green leaders in your business? Do you know of others who have? What are your thoughts on this strategy? Here's what a longtime recruiter specializing in CSR and sustainability says. Share your comments below or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image CC licensed by Flickr user boblet.