Chief executive officer

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"Chief Executive", "CEO", and "CEOs" redirect here. For other uses, see Chief executive (disambiguation) and CEO (disambiguation).

A chief executive officer (CEO) in American English[1] or managing director (MD) in British English[2] describes the position of the most senior corporate officer, executive, or administrator in charge of managing an 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.[3] Titles also often given to the holder of the CEO position include president and chief executive (CE).[4]

Responsibilities[edit]

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 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.[5][6][7] The term refers to the person who takes all the decisions regarding the upliftment of the company, which includes all sectors and fields of the business like operations, marketing, business Development, finance, Human resources, etc. The CEO of a company is not necessarily the owner of the company.

Characteristics[edit]

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.[8] As of 2016, there were 20 female CEOs of S&P 500 companies, approximately 4%.[9]

Celebrity CEO[edit]

Business publicists since the days of Edward Bernays and his client John D. Rockefeller and even more successfully the corporate publicists for Henry Ford, promoted the concept of the celebrity CEO. Business journalists have often adopted this approach, which assumes that the corporate achievements, especially in the arena of manufacturing, were produced by unique talented individuals, especially the heroic CEO. In effect, journalists celebrate a CEO who takes distinctive strategic actions.

The model of course is the celebrity and entertainment, sports and politics. Guthey et al argue:

these individuals are not self-made, but rather are created by a process of widespread media exposure to the point that their actions, personalities, and even private lives function symbolically to represent significant dynamics and tensions prevalent in the contemporary business atmosphere.[10]

Journalism thereby exaggerates the importance of the CEO and tends to neglect the harder-to-describe broader corporate factors. There is little attention to the intricately organized technical bureaucracy that actually does the work. Hubris sets then when the CEO internalizes the celebrity and become excessively self confident in making complex decisions. Indeed there may be an emphasis on the sort of decisions that attract the celebrity journalists.[11]

International use[edit]

In some European Union countries, there is a dual board system with 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.

Related positions[edit]

Main article: Corporate title

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 "chief executive officer", are used in both business and the charitable sector (not-for-profit sector).[12] As of 2013 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,[13] executive officers or corporate officers.

In the United Kingdom, the term director is used instead of chief officer.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CEOs and Presidents, UC Davis Law Review, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2428371
  2. ^ Professional English in Use – Finance, Ian MacKenzie, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p.16
  3. ^ CEOs and Presidents, UC Davis Law Review, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2428371
  4. ^ "Chief Executive Definition from Financial Times Lexicon". Lexicon.ft.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  5. ^ "Chief Executive Officer - CEO". Investopedia. Investopedia US, a Division of IAC. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  6. ^ "Chief Executive Officer (CEO)". BusinessDictionary.com. WebFinance Inc. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 
  7. ^ Capstone Publishing (2003). The Capstone Encyclopaedia of Business. Oxford, U.K: Capstone Publishing. pp. 79–80. ISBN 1-84112-053-7. 
  8. ^ Bertrand, Marianne (2012), "CEOs", Annual Review of Economics (Annual Reviews): 121–150, doi:10.1146/annurev.economics.050708.143301 
  9. ^ Catalyst (2016) "Knowledge Center: Women CEOs of the S&P 500". Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  10. ^ Eric Guthey and Timothy Clark, Demystifying Business Celebrity (2009).
  11. ^ Mathew L.A. Hayward, Violina P. Rindova, and Timothy G. Pollock. "Believing one's own press: The causes and consequences of CEO celebrity." Strategic Management Journal 25#7 (2004): 637-653.
  12. ^ "Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations". Acevo.org.uk. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  13. ^ Markus Menz (2011-10-04). "Menz, M. 2012. Functional Top Management Team Members: A Review, Synthesis, and Research Agenda. Journal of Management, 38(1): 45-80". Jom.sagepub.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Huang, Jiekun, and Darren J. Kisgen. "Gender and corporate finance: Are male executives overconfident relative to female executives?." Journal of Financial Economics 108#3 (2013): 822-839. online
  • Kaplan, Steven N., Mark M. Klebanov, and Morten Sorensen. "Which CEO characteristics and abilities matter?." Journal of Finance 67#3 (2012): 973-1007. online
  • Shleifer, Andrei, and Robert W. Vishny. "A survey of corporate governance." Journal of Finance 52#2 (1997): 737-783.
  • Vancil, Richard F. Passing the baton: Managing the process of CEO succession (Harvard Business School Press, 1987).

External links[edit]