Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

What Is Chief Executive Officer (CEO)?

A chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking executive in a company. Broadly speaking, a chief executive officer’s primary responsibilities include making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of a company, acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate operations. In many cases, the chief executive officer serves as the public face of the company.

The CEO is elected by the board and its shareholders. They report to the chair and the board, who are appointed by shareholders.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking person in a company.
  • While every company differs, CEOs are often responsible for expanding the company, driving profitability, and in the case of public companies, improving share prices. CEOs manage the overall operations of a company.
  • Across many companies, CEOs are elected by the board of directors.
  • CEOs of the 350 largest companies in America earn on average $24 million, or 351 times more than an average employee.
  • Studies suggest that 45% of company performance is influenced by the CEO, while others show that they affect 15% of the variance in profitability.