Simply defined, a chief executive officer (CEO) is usually the executive of highest rank or the most senior corporate officer in a for-profit or non-profit business and responsible for managing its operations. In most cases, if the business is a corporation, that is, if it has a board of directors, the CEO occupies the singular organizational position chiefly responsible for executing strategic policies and plans as put forth by the board of directors. In addition, the CEO must report to this board. If however, the business is not a corporation, as is the case with a proprietorship, the chief executive officer typically assumes the singular organizational position to oversee the operations and set the direction of the business.

Chief Executive Officer – Role and Responsibilities

The role of a CEO in a particular company depends on the organization and size of the company. Thus, if the business is fairly large, the chief executive officer would only handle its higher-level policies and direct its overall growth. On the other hand, if the company is smaller, the CEO would have a more hands-on involvement in its affairs, making many of the company’s business decisions including lower level ones such as staff recruitment.

As with the role, the responsibilities of a CEO too depend on the company. Here is a look at some of the responsibilities:

  • Creation  and execution of the company’s mission, vision and overall strategy
  • Supervision of company operations
  • Management of the company’s physical and financial resources
  • Spearheading of change and motivating employees
  • Ensuring that human resources are managed in accordance with authorized personnel procedures and policies that fully adhere to the latest laws and regulations
  • Supervision of design, promotion, marketing, quality and delivery of products, services and programs
  • Deciding the company’s financial route, objectives and outcomes
  • Setting a cultural tone that draws and helps retain star employees
  • If the CEO is that of a corporation, he helps with the selection and assessment of Board Members and offers planning recommendations to the Board.

The CEO’s experience and managerial capabilities decide whether a company reaches the heights of prosperity or is doomed.