A chief executive officer (CEO) is the head of the company and is responsible for its overall success. Some CEOs are also members of the board governing the company, or boards with other organizations. They determine the policies that make up the structure of an organization, or its corporate governance
Chairman of the Board A CEO often serves as chairman of the board of directors. The board conducts performance reviews on the CEO and other high-level executives and determines whether they are doing a good job running the company. The board has the power to hire and fire CEOs. As part of the board, a CEO provides input on where he sees the company heading, financially and strategically. Steve Jobs was both the chairman and CEO of Apple for many years. Industry Analysis To lead the company, the CEO must be knowledgeable about the industry. She attends or maintains a presence at conferences and has meetings with other executives to make deals and exchange information. This not only keeps her informed about upcoming events and opportunities like mergers, but also makes her aware of potential threats, like a new competing product line.
Approve Annual Reports Annual reports are like a report card on a public company’s s financial status. The CEO writes a personal message that accompanies the report. The message is a summary of the entire report and states his thoughts on future goals, and how the company is progressing toward them. The letter is intended to inform stockholders about the company’s past and future performance. A CEO must verify that all the financial statements in the report are true and complete. Work With Other Executives A CEO must communicate with other high-level executives to make decisions. She often helps recruit candidates at this level since she will be working so closely with them.
Although she typically receives input from officials such as the chief financial officer, the chief technology officer and the chief marketing officer, the CEO is the final decision maker on issues. She must clearly state her reasoning for decisions in a variety of formats such as presentations and company meetings. Effective communication reduces misunderstandings and makes employees feel secure about the company’s future. Determine Corporate Policies The CEO must know a lot about basic business topics so he can make decisions in a wide variety of areas.
He is required to have a master of business administration (MBA) degree and at least 10 years’ experience in business, preferably in the same industry, background elements that provide him with a broad base of knowledge. Among the things he’ll determine are when the company goes public, how many employees to hire or lay off, whether or not to merge with other companies and what companies to acquire. He must also make sure that company policies are clearly communicated to the right people in email, memo or newsletter formats.
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