The CEO. You hear the term daily in the corporate world. You know it means someone at the top of the corporate ladder. The head honcho. The top senior staffer. The leader of the C-suite executive teams. Yet, you’ve been with the company 5 years and have never even seen the guy except in the media.
So, exactly who is the mysterious CEO? What does a CEO do? Why is the CEO important? What are the relationships between the CEO, the board, the shareholders, and the public? Have these interactions had any impact on the role the CEO plays within the company’s corporate hierarchy?
With the realm of corporations constantly expanding and the old standard business model becoming obsolete, has the role of the CEO evolved over time, as well. What does the term CEO mean in the business speak of Corporate America? How does the term CEO define leadership in the corporates?
Questions for the CEO
These are questions you want to ask before entering the corporate arena and stepping onto the playing field with the vertically mobile teams competing to climb the ladder.
So, whether you’re trying to score an interview with the elusive CEO, starting a new entry-level position with a big firm, or working in a small business, having a more insightful understanding of the company’s infrastructure and the CEO’s proven track record with the company, gives you an edge over the competition when looking to secure a future with said company.
However, seeking information about the performance of a company’s upper echelon can be quite challenging. Most of us are either afraid to ask questions about the CEO, or lower management answers our questions with pompous periphrasis and circumlocution, instead of being forthcoming with answers. It is frustrating, to say the least.
When you are new to the corporate world, you almost need someone to translate the corporate jargon into layman’s lingo, simple language that you can understand. Because you took the tour, and you still don’t know what the CEO does!
Well, that’s what we’ve done here. We have translated the corporate jargon into layman’s lingo to make it easy to understand the role and function of the CEO within the company. We have taken an in-depth look at various CEO’s and put together a summary of the main highlights denoting the role of the CEO with respect to the board of directors (the board), the shareholders (the investors/stock owners), and the company.
We have condensed to a nutshell version of the answers to the previous questions and provided links for further reading.
Now that we have identified who the CEO is in the company, the top senior executive and on the highest rung of the corporate ladder, making him at the top of the chain of command and the only one who talks to the board and shareholders.
So, lets move on.
The Main Functions of the CEO
What does it mean, and what is the CEO’s job? The textbook definition of the title of CEO is Chief Executive Officer and highest ranking senior executive officer in the company. The primary roles of the Chief Executive Officer largely depends if it’s with a small company or a large corporation.
In smaller companies, this role is usually more hands-on and may encompass filling several other lower senior executive positions and carrying out those duties and responsibilities also. It can be pretty hectic and stressful.
In large corporate companies, the CEO acts as a liaison between the board and corporate operations, being the major decision-maker in all company operations, resourcing for the company, delegating work to be carried out by lower offices, and acting as the main source of communication between the board of directors, company operations, the shareholders, and the public, because the CEO is the face of the company.
This senior executive is responsible for representing the company publicly and maintaining a good profile and image in the public eye. The CEO also has the task of acquiring new investors and stock purchases, making sure stocks are profitable by implementing new, innovative ideas and business strategies to keep the company on the cutting edge and ahead of the competitors.
Because many of the big corporations have CEO’s who spend a massive amount of time out in public and in the media, they become famous. We don’t have to mention any names, as everyone knows who they are. Fame helps ensure success in the company, satisfied customers, happy investors, and appeased board members.
In conclusion, its pretty clear what a CEO is, what the role and function is within the company, and the job and responsibilities of this highest senior executive office. The role of CEO has evolved over the years, but it still has basically the same office requirements and duties.
Mainly, 4 directives have changed due to the pandemic. CEO’s are still elected by the shareholders and can still hold a place on the board
For Further Reading See:
Investopedia – https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/ceo.asp
CEO vs COO – https://resources.workable.com/hr-terms/ceo-vs-coo
*Originally published on Dr. Marlon Atherton’s site