The President of the Imperial Galactic Government (also known as the President of the Galaxy) was a position in the Galactic Empire that was temporary ruler of the Empire while the Emperor was in suspended animation. Zaphod Beeblebrox was one of the most successful Presidents that the Galaxy had ever had - when he had reached his tenth presidential year he had already spent two of those years in prison for fraud.
The President's role was to be a figurehead, not necessarily one possessing great leadership skills but more to cause outrage and attract attention. They were apparently chosen by the government but wielded no real power, and they were always a controversial choice of an infuriating but fascinating character. Those chosen to be President were not necessarily given a role of honour or respect, but would most certainly find fame and attention.