Leadership, management and being the corporation’s representative are essential features of the chief executive officer job description. To fulfill the responsibilities, the CEO must have skills in dealing with members of the management team, employees, directors, competitors, other businesses, the public and government officials. As the below CEO job description explains, chief executives acquire must acquire management experience by working at various levels or divisions of a corporation.
Job Overview: What Does a Chief Executive Officer Do?
The CEO job description could include the moniker “tone-setter.” Chief executives establish the organization’s goals and strategy to achieve them. Since organizations differ on many fronts, the chief executive’s functions may be shaped by the particular organization. CEOs often grant interviews to reporters to discuss or promote services, products and events involving the corporation.
Chief Executive Officer Job Duties
- Manage and oversee the production, sales, provision of services and other activities of the organization.
- Establish policies and practices for the organization.
- Negotiate or approve agreements and transactions on organization’s behalf.
- Report to board directors on company or organization’s condition, performance, potential adverse matters and other issues affecting company.
- Select leadership of departments or divisions.
- Evaluate performance of company and its various segments or divisions.
The chief executive officer job description can differ by size and type of organization. For example, at a small, independent store or shop, the CEO tends to oversee day-to-day operations, such as purchasing inventory or supplies and making personnel decisions. In larger business, those tasks may befall human resource or general managers with the CEO tackling broader issues of company vision, financial performance goals and strategies. Within the nonprofit sector, the CEO job description may include fundraising and issue advocacy.
Chief Executive Officer Essential Skills
Communication. The Chief Executive Officer often speaks for the corporation. The settings may testifying in court or before other bodies, appearing on media platforms for interviews and public appearances. To effectively negotiate or advocate for the organization, the CEO must speak confidently and persuasively. Subordinates must clearly understand from the CEO the organization’s vision and goals. Communication also includes reports to the board of directors.
Management. CEOs shape and guide the activities of the corporation and its staff. In their management capacity, chief executives might consult the opinions of other management, directors, legal counsel or other stakeholders in deciding policies or actions. Being a manager also requires the ability to lead the organization through providing clear direction and vision and handling crises.
Time-management. Commitments such as meetings, public appearances, media interviews are included in the CEO job description.The executives must be aware of deadlines, especially those imposed by law, to keep the corporation from facing legal liability. Time-management may include delegating tasks to others.
Becoming a CEO
As organizations and sectors are unique, there may exist different qualifications for becoming a chief executive officer. The level of education and experience needed will depend on the corporation and its activities.
Qualifications & Training
In the business world, chief executives usually have at a minimum a Bachelor’s of Science in Administration. Many, especially at larger corporations, have earned Master’s of Business Administration. The curriculum delves into subjects such as organizational structure and behavior, marketing, finance, taxation and accounting. In some corporations, CEOs have legal education and may even be licensed to practice law. Companies might desire in their CEOs those who have degrees in the line of business, such as manufacturing or banking.
Within the public sector, typical degrees for CEOs include public administration, business administration and law. Those who fulfill CEO-type roles as school superintendents or college presidents usually major in education at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Becoming a CEO generally requires considerable work experience, starting in lower-level management positions and climbing the corporate ladder. Companies may choose CEOs from their own ranks, reasoning that the experience in the company breeds familiarity with the corporate culture and activities. However, others may prefer to hire from outside the corporation, finding someone with experience in the corporation’s line of work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, half of CEOs logged over 40 hours per week. Often, the duties and responsibilities draw CEOs away from the office. For instance, CEOs may have to testify before legislative or judicial bodies to respond to potential legislation, concerns by law makers or claims of wrongdoing. Additionally, business and other news shows, including those in early mornings, may obtain appearances by CEOs.
Corporate management must attend directors’ meetings and shareholder meetings. Moreover, other management duties may call for chief executives to visit the organization’s properties or places of business.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there may be 4,100 fewer CEO positions from 2014 to 2024. Furthermore, chief executives hold their positions for long periods of time. When jobs open, corporations tend to select candidates with considerable management experience and may even seek other current or former chief executive officers from other organizations.
Thus, the number of new openings depends on the creation of new corporations. Past economic conditions make younger professionals and would-be entrepreneurs weary of organizing new ventures.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, as of May 2015, that chief executives earned an average salary of $185,550 per year. At least a quarter of them made at least $187,200 per year. CEOs in taxi and limousine services ranked first in salaries, at $253,570. Additionally, other high-ranking sectors include Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing, Securities and Commodities Exchange Brokerage and Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas.
Pay tends to be higher for chief executives in business corporations rather than non-profit entities. In fact, those in the latter category may have compensation limited by budget constraints. Nonprofits typically rely on donations and grants for revenue.
To sum up, within the chief executive officer CEO job description lies the responsibilities CEOs hold to lead and guide their organizations. Those who obtain these positions must acquire education, skills and experience to win the confidence of boards who will select them. Opportunities to become a CEO open slowly since the number of positions is affected by the number of corporations.