Chief executive officer

The chief executive officer (CEO)[1] or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations (e.g., Crown corporations). The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity,[1] which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.

In the early 21st century, top executives typically had technical degrees in science, engineering or law.[2]

Group of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2015 (cropped to remove non-CEO)
A group of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2015.


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, responsibilities include being a decision maker on strategy and other key policy issues, leader, manager, and executor. The communicator role can involve speaking to the press and the rest of the outside world, as well as to 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 or 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.[3][4][5] The term refers to the person who makes all the key decisions regarding the company, which includes all sectors and fields of the business, including operations, marketing, business development, finance, human resources, etc. The CEO of a company is not necessarily the owner of the company.

International use

In some 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

Typically, a CEO has several subordinate executives, each of whom has specific functional responsibilities referred to as senior executives,[6] executive officers or corporate officers. Subordinate executives are given different titles in different organizations, but one common category of subordinate executive, if the CEO is also the president, is the vice-president (VP). An organization may have more than one vice-president, each tasked with a different area of responsibility (e.g., VP of finance, VP of human resources, VP of research and development). Some organizations have subordinate executive officers who also have the word chief in their job title, such as chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief technology officer (CTO). The public relations-focused position of chief reputation officer is sometimes included as one such subordinate executive officer, but, as suggested by Anthony Johndrow, CEO of Reputation Economy Advisors, it can also be seen as "simply another way to add emphasis to the role of a modern-day CEO – where they are both the external face of, and the driving force behind, an organisation culture".[7]


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. 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.[8] 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. In the United Kingdom, the term director is used instead of chief officer".

Famous CEOs

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 is the celebrity in entertainment, sports, and politics. Guthey et al. argue that "...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."[9] 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 in when the CEO internalizes the celebrity and becomes excessively self-confident in making complex decisions. Indeed, there may be an emphasis on the sort of decisions that attract the celebrity journalists.[10]


Executive compensation

Executive compensation has been a source of criticism following a dramatic rise in pay relative to the average worker's wage. For example, the relative pay was 20-to-1 in 1965 in the US, but had risen to 376-to-1 by 2018.[11] The relative pay differs around the world, and in some smaller countries is still around 20-to-1.[12] Observers differ as to whether the rise is due to competition for talent or due to lack of control by compensation committees.[13] In recent years, investors have demanded more say over executive pay.[14]


Lack of diversity amongst chief executives has also been a source of criticism.[15] In 2018, 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs were women.[16] The reasons for this are multi factorial, and may include natural sex differences, the existence of old boy networks and the lack of female role models.[17] Some countries have passed laws mandating boardroom gender quotas.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b Lin, Tom C. W. (April 23, 2014). "CEOs and Presidents". Retrieved June 29, 2017 – via
  2. ^ Bertrand, Marianne (2012), "CEOs", Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, 1: 121–150, doi:10.1146/annurev.economics.050708.143301
  3. ^ "Chief Executive Officer - CEO". Investopedia. Investopedia US, a Division of IAC. Retrieved 2014-10-23.
  4. ^ "Chief Executive Officer (CEO)". WebFinance Inc. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Capstone Publishing (2003). The Capstone Encyclopaedia of Business. Oxford, U.K: Capstone Publishing. pp. 79–80. ISBN 1-84112-053-7.
  6. ^ 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". Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  7. ^ "Rise of the Chief Reputation Officer". Financier Worldwide. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  8. ^ "Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations". 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  9. ^ Eric Guthey and Timothy Clark, Demystifying Business Celebrity (2009).
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Executive Compensation Is Out Of Control. What Now?". 14 February 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  12. ^ "CEOs in U.S., India Earn the Most Compared With Average Workers". 28 December 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Great Men, great pay? Why CEO compensation is sky high". 12 June 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  14. ^ "European investors beef up stance over high executive pay". 11 November 2018.
  15. ^ "'THE GOVERNMENT MUST ACT ON FTSE GENDER STATS' SAYS CMI'S CEO". 14 November 2018. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Fortune 500". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  17. ^ "It's 2017 – So Why Aren't there More Women CEOs?". Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Getting Women Into Boardrooms, by Law". 27 January 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2018.

Further reading

  • 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

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority is a government statutory authority tasked to protect Australia's sporting integrity through the elimination of doping. The authority is part of the Department of Health's portfolio and was established on 13 March 2006 under the Australian Sports Anti‑Doping Authority Act 2006.

The ASADA drug tests Australian athletes who compete at state and national levels. The ASADA can also test international athletes if they are competing in events held in Australia. It is also ASADA's role to inform the sporting community of drugs and related safety issues. The ASADA Advisory Group is relied upon by the Chief Executive Officer as a consultative forum on matter related to the agency's purpose.

Chief Executive (Afghanistan)

The Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a position within the Government of Afghanistan. The extra-constitutional post was created in September 2014 following the disputes that arose after the 2014 Afghan presidential election when both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory in that election. As part of a national unity agreement, it was agreed that Ashraf Ghani would assume the presidency and a new post of Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan would be created for Abdullah Abdullah.

Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support

The Chief Executive Officer of Defence Equipment and Support, formerly the Chief of Defence Materiel, is a senior post in the British armed forces created in April 2007. It merges the roles of Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief of Defence Logistics into a single post responsible for leading Defence Equipment and Support.

The command may be held by a four-star officer, admiral, general, or air chief marshal appointed from the three services, and also by civilians.

Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) is a large South Australian government department which provides a range of services across the three key words of its title.

Executive director

An executive director is a chief executive officer (CEO) or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. The title is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though many United States nonprofits have adopted the title president or CEO.Confusion can arise because the words executive and director occur both in this title and in titles of various members of some organizations' boards of directors. The precise meanings of these terms are discussed in the board of directors article.

Great Wraps

Great Wraps is an American quick serve restaurant founded in 1974 with locations in over 18 states, primarily in food courts. Its menu consists of hot, wrapped sandwiches (including their signature Gyro Wrap), cheesesteaks, rice bowls and frozen smoothies.

Great Wraps is a franchise, established as a company in 1974 and franchised in 1986. The company's headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia. The chief executive officer is Mark Kaplan. Bonds rated Great Wraps as one of the top 100 North American Franchises.

Hong Kong Football Association

The Hong Kong Football Association Limited (Chinese: 香港足球總會), often abbreviated to the HKFA, is the governing body of association football in Hong Kong. Its current chairman is Brian Leung Hung-Tak and its Chief Executive Officer is Paul Woodland.

James A. Bell

James A. Bell (born June 4, 1948) is a retired American executive of The Boeing Company.

Bell is a retired President, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Boeing Company. He served as interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Boeing Company on March, 2005, following the resignation of Harry Stonecipher. He returned to his singular role as Boeing's CFO on June 30, 2005 following the appointment of Jim McNerney as the new President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of the Boeing Company. He was appointed Corporate President in June 2008.

Jim France

James Carl France (born October 24, 1944) is an American motorsports executive, the vice chairman of the board of directors, the chief executive officer (CEO), the chairman, and executive vice president of NASCAR and the former chief executive officer (CEO) of International Speedway Corporation (ISC).

List of Young Global Leaders

This is a list of notable members of the Forum of Young Global Leaders by their year of induction. Each member is asked to join the forum for a five-year period. Members the first year were identified with one of six categories: business, political, intellectual, arts and culture, societal, and opinion.

National Farmers' Federation

The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) is an Australian non-profit membership–based organization that represents farmers and the agricultural sector in Australia. Historically, NFF was a key player in a number of industrial relations disputes, including Australia's infamous waterfront dispute; the shearing wide comb dispute; and the Mudginberri dispute.

The current president of the National Farmers' Federation is Fiona Simson since November 2016; the organisation's chief executive officer is Tony Mahar, since April 2016.

Nobuyuki Idei

Nobuyuki Idei (出井 伸之, Idei Nobuyuki; born November 22, 1937) is a Japanese businessman. He was Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corporation until the 7th March 2005. He is a director of General Motors, Baidu, Yoshimoto Kogyo and Nestlé.

After a stroke sidelined former chairman Akio Morita, Sony CEO and new chairman Norio Ohga selected Idei to be the next president, a choice that raised eyebrows at Sony. His sweeping reorganizations of the company included trimming the board of directors from 38 members dominated by company management to 10 with a substantial presence of outsiders. Already perceived as the company's driving force, Idei was formally named co-CEO in 1998 and sole CEO in 1999. In 2000, while Ohga remained Chairman of the Board, Idei became Executive Chairman and Kunitake Andō became president.

In 2003, on Ohga's retirement, Idei became the sole Chairman, and the title of Chief Executive Officer was altered to Group Chief Executive Officer. On March 7, 2005, it was announced that Idei would be succeeded on June 22 by Sir Howard Stringer.

In 2006, Idei joined the board leading Accenture. On September 28, 2011, Idei joined the Board of Directors of Lenovo.

On February 5, 2015 Idei retired from Accenture's board of directors.

Prepaid Payment Instruments in India

Prepaid payment instruments are methods that facilitate purchase of goods and services against the value stored on such instruments. The value stored on such instruments represents the value paid for by the holder, by cash, by debit to a bank account, or by credit card.The prepaid instruments can be issued as smart cards, magnetic stripe cards, internet accounts, online wallets, mobile accounts, mobile wallets, paper vouchers and any such instruments used to access the prepaid amount.

President (corporate title)

The President is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between the president and the Chief Executive Officer varies, depending on the structure of the specific organization. In a similar vein to the Chief Operating Officer, the title of corporate President as a separate position (as opposed to being combined with a "C-Suite" designation, such as "President and Chief Executive Officer" or "President and Chief Operating Officer") is also loosely defined; the President is usually the legally recognized highest rank of corporate officer, ranking above the various Vice Presidents (including Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President), but on its own generally considered subordinate, in practice, to the CEO. The powers of the president vary widely across organizations and such powers come from specific authorization in the bylaws like Robert's Rules of Order (e.g. the president can make an "executive decision" only if the bylaws allow for it).

Ramon Laguarta

Ramon Laguarta (born 1963–1964 in Barcelona, Spain) is the chief executive officer of PepsiCo. He became CEO on October 3, 2018 after his predecessor Indra Nooyi stepped down. He is the sixth holder of the position.

Sam Kennedy (baseball executive)

Samuel H. Kennedy (born 1973) is an American professional baseball executive who is the president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball.Kennedy has been a member of the baseball club's upper management hierarchy since March 2002. He was named the successor to longtime Red Sox president Larry Lucchino on August 1, 2015, when Lucchino announced his decision to retire from his executive positions with the team at the close of the 2015 Boston Red Sox season. Lucchino's chief executive officer post was initially left vacant, and on August 18, 2015, the Red Sox also named veteran MLB executive Dave Dombrowski to the new position of president, baseball operations. On August 2, 2017, the Red Sox and Fenway Sports Management announced Kennedy's appointment as chief executive officer, and signed him to a new five-year contract as both CEO and president.Prior to August 2015, Kennedy had been the Red Sox' executive vice president and chief operating officer and president of Fenway Sports Management since May 2009.

Scott T. Ford

Scott T. Ford was President and Chief Executive Officer of Alltel from 2002 to 2009.

Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games

The Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan Parapan American Games (TO2015) (French: Comité d’organisation des Jeux panaméricains et parapanaméricains de 2015 à Toronto - TOR2015) was a non-profit organization responsible for producing and financing the 2015 Pan American Games and 2015 Parapan American Games. It was established on January 21, 2010, about three months after the 2015 games were awarded to Toronto, Ontario.TO2015 was led by chief executive officer Ian Troop, who has senior operating experience with multinational corporations Its board of directors consisted of 12 members, with five partners the, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Canadian and Ontario provincial governments, and the City government of Toronto, Ontario.The Chair of the Games was The Honourable David Peterson, former politician and Premier of Ontario. In December 2013 Troop was fired. He was replaced in January 2014 by Saad Rafi.

Chief officers
Senior executives
Mid-level executives
Related topics

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.