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What Does a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Do?


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Question: What Does a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Do?


The job title, CEO (Chief Executive Officer, refers to the head of an organization as in the person who presides over or is in charge of an organization.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest ranking executive manager in a corporation or organization. The CEO has specific responsibilities depending on the needs of his or her organization. The job description of a CEO varies by organization.

The CEO reports to the Board of Directors or in some nonprofit settings, such as state government, the CEO may be the head of an agency or department and report to the office of the governor. The CEO may also own the business, and may have founded the business, so his or her commitment to the business is significant. In these cases, a Board of Directors may exist, but its authority is nominal and advisory.

Whether the top person is president and CEO, or just CEO, he or she is the top person in command in an organization and has specific responsibilities depending on the needs of his or her organization.

Thus, the CEO's job responsibilities can vary from organization to organization. As with any level of management in an organization, the CEO's role starts with the fundamental job responsibilities of a manager.

Because the role of the CEO bears significant responsibility, accountability, and authority within an organization, the CEO has these additional responsibilities.

Responsibilities of a CEO

The responsibilities of a CEO include:

  • Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization's vision, mission, and overall direction. Leading the development and implementation of the overall organization's strategy.

  • Leading, guiding, directing, and evaluating the work of other executive leaders including presidents, vice presidents, and directors, depending on the organization's reporting structure.

  • Soliciting advice and guidance, when appropriate, from a Board of Directors.

  • Formulating and implementing the strategic plan that guides the direction of the business or organization.

  • Overseeing the complete operation of an organization in accordance with the direction established in the strategic plans.

  • Evaluating the success of the organization.

  • Maintaining awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, new industry developments and standards, and so forth.

  • Representing the organization for civic and professional association responsibilities and activities in the local community, the state, and at the national level. (Other executive leaders bear responsibility for these vetures as interested or assigned as well.)

  • Demonstrating the leadership necessary to make the organization's mission a success. This leadership includes providing leadership vision, leadership that attracts followers, and all other aspects of successful leadership.

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