Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer (CEO) is generally the most senior corporate officer (executive) or administrator in charge of managing a for-profit corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity. Titles often used as synonyms for CEO include president, managing director (MD) and chief executive (CE).
- Responsibilities 1
- Characteristics 2
- International use 3
- Related positions 4
- See also 5
- References 6
- External links 7
The responsibilities of an organization's CEO are set by the organization's 
The owner of a business that is registered as a proprietorship or as a sole proprietorship can also be called a CEO.
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 degrees.
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 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.
Common associates include a chief administrative officer (CAO), chief brand officer (CBO), chief business development officer (CBDO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), chief sales officer (CSO), chief marketing officer (CMO), chief information officer (CIO), chief communications officer (CCO), chief legal officer (CLO), chief technology officer (CTO), chief risk officer (CRO), chief creative officer (CCO), chief compliance officer (CCO), chief audit executive (CAE), chief diversity officer (CDO), or chief human resources officer (CHRO), chief commercial officer (CCO), chief content officer (CCO), chief information security officer (CISO), chief accounting officer (CAO), chief analytics officer (CAO), chief web officer (CWO), and chief strategy officer (CSO).
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.
- CEO succession
- Executive officer
- List of books written by CEOs
- List of chief executive officers
- Occupational Information Network
- United States Department of Labor
- CEOs and Presidents, UC Davis Law Review, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2428371
- Professional English in Use – Finance, Ian MacKenzie, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p.16
- "Chief Executive Definition from Financial Times Lexicon". Lexicon.ft.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- "Chief Executive Officer - CEO". Investopedia. Investopedia US, a Division of IAC. Retrieved 2014-10-23.
- "Chief Executive Officer (CEO)". BusinessDictionary.com. WebFinance Inc. Retrieved 2014-10-23.
- Capstone Publishing (2003). The Capstone Encyclopaedia of Business. Oxford, U.K: Capstone Publishing. pp. 79–80.
- Bertrand, Marianne (2012), "CEOs",
- "Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations". Acevo.org.uk. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
- 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.
- 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