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Employees who work in executive management jobs serve as the leaders and decision makers of a company. Within the corporate hierarchy, executive management jobs are at the top. Their respective responsibilities can be grouped according to a number of defined roles, offices, and job descriptions.
The head of a company is the chief executive officer (CEO). The CEO ranks higher than all other executive management jobs, including the president, and has the most responsibility. He or she has the final say in any decision and is ultimately responsible for effecting overall strategy and making decisions on resources, marketing, and expansion. It should be noted that the CEO also serves as the primary spokesman for the company, especially in matters pertaining to the board of directors/trustees and shareholders.
The president of a company is often, but doesn't have to be, the CEO. The president's responsibilities are more day-to-day and tactical than those of the CEO. While the president is tasked with overseeing daily operations and more systematic decisions, the CEO is often seen on a more strategic, visionary basis. It should be noted that there is only one president of the overall company, but a company that has multiple divisions will likely have corresponding presidents that preside over each of those divisions.
Similar to the president, the vice president is also responsible for day-to-day, tactical decisions. A vice president's duties, however, are usually more collaborative and slightly less definitive in terms of overall authority. In some instances, it is possible for the president of a particular division to be the overall company's vice president.
The role of the chief financial officer (CFO) is to oversee the company's financial health. This includes establishing, reviewing, and signing off on the validity of the company's balance sheets, which are reviewed by investors and regulatory agencies. As more scrutiny is focused on executive compensation, financial health, and full financial disclosure, the responsibility of the CFO is critical and profound.
Responsible for managing the company's overall investments, the chief investment officer (CIO) helps devise and employ short and long-term investment strategies. This may include overseeing equity and bond divisions, overseas and emerging markets, and other sectors within the financial realm. The CIO may also serve in other capacities within the company.
Finally, there is the chairman of the board. Any public company is required to have a board of directors. The role of the board is to serve as the fiduciary for the investors and to promote shareholder interest, such as monitoring executive compensation, dividend amounts and distribution, and other related activities. The chairman of the board is elected to the position and serves as the principal medium between the shareholders and the executives.
Executive management jobs function as the decision-making core of a company. Those executives are usually the highest-earning employees and also bear the most responsibility for the company's success or failure. Executive management jobs are often performance-driven, in which their base salaries are supplemented by a variable bonus that hinges on their respective contributions to the company's success.