DEFINITION of 'Chairman'

An executive elected by a company's board of directors that is responsible for presiding over board or committee meetings. The chairman ensures that the meetings run smoothly and remain orderly, and works at achieving a consensus in board decisions. The position is different than that of the chief executive officer (CEO), and can be either a non-executive (part-time) or executive (full-time) position.


In some companies, the roles of CEO and chairman are combined. This has the effect of reducing transparency and accountability due to the reduced checks and balances created by having two separate positions with separate job functions.

  1. Carlos Criado-Perez

    Former CEO of U.K.-based Safeway PLC. Carlos Criado-Perez was ...
  2. Michael L. Eskew

    The CEO and chairman of United Parcel Service (UPS) from 2002 ...
  3. Micky Arison

    The CEO and chairman of cruise operator Carnival Corp. Arison ...
  4. Anders C. Moberg

    The CEO and president of Royal Ahold from 2003 to 2007. Moberg ...
  5. Brad Anderson

    The former CEO and vice-chairman of electronics retailer Best ...
  6. General Manager

    The person in charge of a department within a company. General ...
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