Chief Executive  What They Do

Just the Facts


Chief Executive Officers Career Video



Determines and formulates policies and provides overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plans, directs, or coordinates operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

This career is part of the Business, Management and Administration cluster General Management pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Directs or coordinates an organization's financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
  • Appoints department heads or managers and assigns or delegates responsibilities to them.
  • Analyzes operations to evaluate performance of a company or its staff in meeting objectives or to determine areas of potential cost reduction, program improvement, or policy change.
  • Directs, plans, or implements policies, objectives, or activities of organizations or businesses to ensure continuing operations, to maximize returns on investments, or to increase productivity.
  • Prepares budgets for approval, including those for funding or implementation of programs.
  • Confers with board members, organization officials, or staff members to discuss issues, coordinate activities, or resolve problems.
  • Implements corrective action plans to solve organizational or departmental problems.
  • Directs human resources activities, including the approval of human resource plans or activities, the selection of directors or other high-level staff, or establishment or organization of major departments.
  • Presides over or serves on boards of directors, management committees, or other governing boards.
  • Establishes departmental responsibilities and coordinates functions among departments and sites.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Bank President -- Oversees banking operations, planning, policies and practices as well as a variety of other strategic objectives set forth by the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors of a consumer bank.
  • Bureau Chief -- Directs and coordinates activities of personnel engaged in selecting, gathering, and editing news and news pictures in remote location or foreign country and transmitting to home office of newspaper or press syndicate.
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) -- Supervises the finance unit and is the chief financial spokesperson for an organization and assists on all strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of new funding.
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) -- Directs the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems in support of business operations in order to improve cost effectiveness, service quality and business development.
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) -- Helps a company produce better services or products while reducing costs and increasing profits.
  • Chief Technical Officer (CTO) -- Aligns a company's business objects and revenue goals with technology capabilities and internal processes.
  • Executive Vice President (EVP) -- Responsible for maximizing an organization's operating performance and achieving its financial goals, typically attending board meetings, ensuring sound financial practices of the organization, managing the strategic plan, ensuring a healthy working envir
  • General Manager -- Responsible for all aspects of a company’s operation, the GM ensures that operations run smoothly and according to company policy.
  • Police Commissioner -- Supervises the work of those in lower ranks in the police force and acts as a representative of the city's police force to politicians and the public.
  • President -- Responsible for ensuring that all lines of business within an organization are running efficiently and within the budget set forth by the CEO, board of directors and finance director, a company president generally works with mid- to senior-level managers