The chief executive officer (CEO), also known as a managing director (MD), is in charge of overseeing the management of an entire organization and holds the highest rank of all corporate officers. CEOs of start-up companies and CEOs of established companies are the two most common types of chief executive officer positions. The responsibilities of a CEO vary depending on the size and status of the organization, and whether the CEO is the founder or was hired from outside.
The founder of a start-up company usually holds the position of chief executive officer. Entrepreneurs can appoint themselves CEO of their own company for the cost of business registration alone. A CEO position within a start-up, like any other, entails overseeing the organization’s overall management. However, chief executive officer jobs in start-ups often include lower-level responsibilities, especially if the company has a small number of employees. Deliveries, answering phones, and other hands-on customer service tasks are examples of these low-level responsibilities.
Working closely with the heads of the organization’s other chief officers is typical of chief executive officer jobs in large, established organizations such as Fortune 500 companies. A chief financial officer (CFO) might prepare financial overviews and present them to the CEO on a regular basis, while a chief technical officer (CTO) might meet with the CEO to propose a new type of technology for the company. Other executive officers with whom the CEO may collaborate include the chief operating officer (COO), chief marketing officer (CMO), and various vice presidents. Unlike many CEO jobs in start-ups, CEO jobs in large corporations usually come with assistants and other administrative support personnel.
The position of chief executive officer is shared two people in some larger organizations. This can occur as a result of a merger or as a result of the CEO’s own decision to bring on a new CEO. As co-CEOs, they divide the CEO responsibilities among themselves, usually based on their individual strengths and weaknesses. A co-CEO arrangement could also provide a temporary solution for a company during the transition from one CEO to another.