Chief executive officer
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A chief executive officer (CEO) (US phenomenon) or managing director (MD) (British phenomenon) describes the position of the most senior corporate officer (executive) or administrator in charge of managing a for-profit organization. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity. Titles also often given to the holder of the CEO position include president and chief executive (CE).
The responsibilities of an organization's CEO are set by the organization's board of directors or other authority, depending on the organization's legal structure. They can be far-reaching or quite limited and are typically enshrined in a formal delegation of authority.
Typically, the CEO/MD has responsibilities as a director, decision maker, leader, manager and executor. The communicator role can involve the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as the organization's management and employees; the decision-making role involves high-level decisions about policy and strategy. As a leader of the company, the CEO/MD advises the board of directors, motivates employees, and drives change within the organization. As a manager, the CEO/MD presides over the organization's day-to-day operations.
According to a study by Carola Frydman of MIT, from 1936 to the early 2000s there has been a rapid increase in the share of CEOs holding an MBA; from approximately 10% of CEOs in 1960 to more than 50% by the end of the century. Earlier in the century, top executives were more likely to have technical degrees in science and engineering or law. As of 2014, there were 24 female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, which was a record 4.8%.
In some European Union countries, there are two separate boards, one executive board for the day-to-day business and one supervisory board for control purposes (selected by the shareholders). In these countries, the CEO presides over the executive board and the chairman presides over the supervisory board, and these two roles will always be held by different people. This ensures a distinction between management by the executive board and governance by the supervisory board. This allows for clear lines of authority. The aim is to prevent a conflict of interest and too much power being concentrated in the hands of one person.
In the United States, the board of directors (elected by the shareholders) is often equivalent to the supervisory board, while the executive board may often be known as the executive committee (the division/subsidiary heads and C-level officers that report directly to the CEO).
In the United States, and in business, the executive officers are usually the top officers of a corporation, the chief executive officer (CEO) being the best-known type. The definition varies; for instance, the California Corporate Disclosure Act defines "Executive Officers" as the five most highly compensated officers not also sitting on the board of directors. In the case of a sole proprietorship, an executive officer is the sole proprietor. In the case of a partnership, an executive officer is a managing partner, senior partner, or administrative partner. In the case of a limited liability company, executive officer is any member, manager or officer.
In the US, the term chief executive officer is used primarily in business, whereas the term executive director is used primarily in the not-for-profit sector. These terms are generally mutually exclusive and refer to distinct legal duties and responsibilities which are incompatible. Implicit in the use of these titles is that the public not be misled and the general standard regarding their use be consistently applied.
In the UK, "chief executive" and, much more rarely "chief executive officer", are used in both business and the charitable sector (not-for-profit sector). As of 2013[update] the use of the term director for senior charity staff is deprecated to avoid confusion with the legal duties and responsibilities associated with being a charity director or trustee, which are normally non-executive (unpaid) roles.
Typically, a CEO has several subordinate executives, each of whom has specific functional responsibilities referred to as senior executives, executive officers or corporate officers.
In the United Kingdom, the term director is used instead of chief officer. Senior positions may include the audit executive, business development director, chief executive, compliance director, creative director, director of communications, diversity director, financial director, human resources director, information technology director, legal affairs director, managing director (MD), marketing director, operations director and technical director.
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- CEO succession
- Executive officer
- List of books written by CEOs
- List of chief executive officers
- Occupational Information Network
- United States Department of Labor
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chief executive officers.|
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Top Executives: Description and Outlook
- 2008–2010 Study: CEOs Who Fired Most Workers Earned Highest Pay – video report by Democracy Now!
- Global CEO Directory - Searchable list of chief executive officers