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What Does an Executive Officer Do?

A CEO must choose lower-level managers to run various departments in the company and often answers to a board of directors.
A CEO is the highest ranking manager of a company.
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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2014
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An executive officer is frequently referred to as a CEO and he or she is the highest-ranking manager in a corporation. He or she is in charge of growth, financial operations, and goal setting for an organization. This individual also acts as the face of the company for many public relations opportunities. This job demands that he or she take responsibility for the ups and downs of a business. This official must choose lower-level managers to run various departments in the company and often answers to a board of directors.

The primary duty of the executive officer is to steer the direction of the company. This means approving and sometimes creating various policies that encourage growth. Approving the operating budget and being intimately familiar with all financial aspects of the company is also important for this job. The executive officer also looks toward the future and helps create organizational goals and objectives for the company to aspire to.

Being in the public eye is often an important aspect of working as an executive officer. This officer frequently sits down for interviews with the media, publicly answer questions about the business, and promotes new initiatives. An executive is also asked to appear on company promotional materials and in-house periodicals to act as the face of the company. Attending public and business-related events as a representative of the company is another frequent duty of this post.

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Another aspect of the executive role is taking responsibility for the company's successes and failures. Some of the main advantages and disadvantages of holding the top position in an organization come from being held personally responsible for everything the organization does. If there is a great deal of success, the officer generally receives the credit for properly steering the company. If business is not profitable, the executive is usually held accountable for this shortfall.

Executive officers also work closely with the managers below them and the board of directors above them. Many of the duties of a person in this position revolve around choosing the proper candidates for management positions in order to carry out company operations, policies, and goals. Many large companies have a board of directors who provide corporate oversight and in this case, the executive officer must regularly report to this group of individuals. The board usually is vested with the authority to hire the executive officer and frequently has the power to direct him or her to change policies for the good of the company.

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matthewc23
Post 4

I think that it is unfair that a Chief Executive Officer is given so much responsibility in the company. It is nearly impossible for one person to be able to watch over every little goings on and be able to make sure that everyone is doing their job effectively.

I guess many people do not have much sympathy for Chief Executive Officers in major companies because of the amount of money they receive. I have heard of salaries being in the tens of millions and I guess for those Chief Executive Officers the scrutiny does fit in regards to ho much they get paid.

Izzy78
Post 3

The worst thing about being the Chief Executive Officer of a company is the scrutiny that occurs with having the job title.

Anytime there is an investigation into the business practices or the illegal doings of the company the Chief Executive Officer is the one that is always attached to anything negative that is associated with that company. I have noticed that most Chief Executive Officers of companies do not usually last more than five years maybe. I know there are exceptions to this but in a cut throat business world like we have today it is necessary for a company to be able to have an effective leader in charge and make sure that the company is in tip top shape.

jcraig
Post 2

@stl156 - You are correct. The responsibility that a Chief Executive Officer has of a company is amazing. I have to imagine that there is a phenominal amount of pressure involved in receiving such a title and effectively do their job.

The problem with being a Chief Executive Officer is that they are usually responsible for anything that goes wrong with the company, so they are the ones that get in trouble. It is very rare for someone to be the Chief Executive Officer of a company for a very long time and usually ends in the person getting fired when the company is on a downturn.

stl156
Post 1

The Chief Executive Officer is always seen as being responsible for the success and failure of a company. The Chief Executive Officer is the person that comes under the most scrutiny when the company gets into trouble and they are usually always the first person to be investigated.

Although being the Chief Executive Officer is a a very high position that someone should be proud of having it also comes with an incredible amount of responsibility that rivals many other jobs.

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