A channel captain is the individual or organization responsible for managing a particular distribution channel and overseeing channel partnerships. A distribution channel is the chain of individuals and organizations involved in getting a product or service from the producer to the consumer. The basic distribution channel consists of a manufacturer, a wholesaler and a retailer. Either the manufacturer or the retailer is usually the channel captain.
The channel captain typically has the final say on products to be distributed through the channel and the manner of their distribution. Other responsibilities of the channel captain include overseeing channel partners and dealing with channel conflict and related issues that arise.