A chief visionary officer (CVO) is a function within a company established beside the other executive functions like CEO or COO. The title is used to define a high ranking position alongside the CEO, and sometimes used to formalize a high level advisory position. The CVO is expected to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of all matters related to the business of the organization, as well as the vision required to steer its course into the future. The person in charge must have the core-competencies of every business-executive, but in addition the visionary ideas must move the company forward. These are used as the basis for defining corporate strategies and working plans.
The first CVO was probably Einar Stefferud who became co-founder and CVO of First Virtual Holdings in 1994. Another early CVO was Tim Roberts of Broadband Investment Group. Roberts said he invented the title as a rank that served to recognize the visionary attributes needed to integrate a complex business with many diverse aspects.