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What is a 'Chief Executive Officer - CEO'

A chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking executive in a company, and his main responsibilities include the development and implementation of high-level strategies, making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of a company, and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the corporate operations. A CEO often has a position on the board; in some cases, he is even the chair.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chief Executive Officer - CEO'

There are various other titles for CEOs including managing director, president and executive. The role of a CEO varies from one company to another depending on the company's size and organization. In relatively small companies, the CEO often has a much more hands-on role in the company, making a lot of the business decisions, including lower-level ones, such as the hiring of staff. However, in larger companies, the CEO typically deals with only the higher-level company strategy and directing its overall growth, as most other tasks are delegated to other managers or various departments.

Difference Between CEO and Chairman of the Board

While the CEO directs the operational aspects of a company, the board oversees the company as a whole, and the leader of the board is called the chairman. The board has the power to overrule the CEO's decisions, but the chairman of the board does not have the power to overrule the board. Instead, the chairman is considered a peer with the other members of the board. In some cases, the CEO and the chairman of the board can be the same person, but many companies split these roles between two people.

Difference Between CEO and CFO

"CFO" refers to the chief financial officer of a company. While CEOs take care of general operations, CFOs focus their attention on financial matters in particular. A CFO analyzes a company's financial strengths and makes recommendations to improve it. The CFO also tracks cash flow and takes care of a company's financial planning, such as investments and capital structures. CFOs typically have a lot of financial management experience or degrees in accounting or finance. Similarly, CEOs often have degrees in business, but in some cases, they are untrained. For example, Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, was famous for having dropped out of college.

Famous CEOs

The CEOs of large corporations sometimes rise to levels of fame. In particular, Mark Zuckerberg has become famous as the CEO of Facebook, and Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, also appears in the media on a regular basis. Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, became so notorious for his role in the company that after his death in 2011, several films and documentaries were made about him.

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