Chairman versus CEO: Who`s More Powerful?

If you are ambitious enough to chase careers and get hired for executive positions, knowing the difference between President and CEO in corporate hierarchy is of paramount importance. Some people still confuse the meaning of these job titles but in the corporate world titles of President and CEO have distinct meanings. So let’s find out the real difference between Chairman and CEO.

What does a Board of Directors do?

Before we proceed to Board of Directors responsibilities and duties, let’s discover what the Board of Directors is, first of all.

1.      Board of Directors definition

A Board of Directors or simply B of D is a group of people that are elected to represent the stakeholders in order to handle some major issues in the company. Every public company is supposed to have a Board of Directors but some nonprofit organizations or private companies can have a B of D as well. Corporate management structures consist usually of inside directors (senior officers) and outside directors. One more question: Board of Trustees vs Board of Directors, is there any difference? Whereas a B of D is the group of people who manage an organization of a company, a Board of Trustees is responsible for making diverse financial decisions for nonprofit organizations like school or hospital.

·         Responsibilities of Board of Directors   

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The essential role of Board of Directors is to oversee all organization activities. The responsibilities of B of D vary depending on the nature of the organization, but generally, it includes establishing management policies, handling major issues, day-to-day management decisions and strategies, setting diverse goals and objectives, approving annual budgets, setting benefits and salaries.

2.      Difference between Chairman and CEO

So, the question is CEO vs Chairmen, who is more powerful?

A Chief Executive Officer or CEO is the highest-ranking officer in the company. In corporate governance and structure, a President of a company holds the title of Chief Operating Officer (COO). In the corporate hierarchy, CEO is the #1 highest position in a company and President is considered to be the second one in charge. A Board of Directors elects a CEO who appoints a President, therefore this is the President who reports to the CEO.

Responsibilities of CEO and President vary based on company’s mission, services or products, and strategic goals. A Managing Director or simply CEO is focused on some major issues of company’s performance. CEO’s main job is to create both short-term and long-term plans. CEO has to develop company’s big vision, policies, operations and strategies and communicate it to other employees and make sure the staff is informed about the key initiatives. CEO is generally the face of a company or organization. CEO duties include performing PR activities, maintaining relations with investor, speaking at diverse conferences, in one word all the activities related to representing the company to the world. CEO can assist in selling company’s products by participating in various sales presentations. In order to improve product quality, CEO can meet with a few valuable clients and get their feedback. CEO also works on creating broad network that will help to promote a positive company image or to get additional investments from outside investors. In addition, CEO’s key tasks are providing a Board of Directors with updated and sufficient information, identifying opportunities for company’s growth, setting budget, building company’s culture, leading senior management team and making sure the company is moving in the right direction.  Moreover, CEO has to oversee company’s financial management by monitoring revenue and expenses. They make sure they are aligned with company’s budget and if needed they make some adjustments.

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A President is in charge of some secondary questions and of execution of day-to-day operations. The President’s main role consists in executing all strategies and goals, running everyday affairs of a company, overseeing business functions operations on a daily basis. In other words, the President is here to help the CEO to bring all ideas and vision to reality and make the overall process more competitive and effective. In addition, the President performs the following tasks – he is responsible for implementation of all production-related objectives, marketing, sales, conduction of research and company’s development. Among the duties and tasks of a President, there are following: ensuring appropriate operations management, optimization of all operational processes, driving transformative initiatives that will shape the future of the business.

The President collaborates with inter-departments leaders in order to tailor main action plan to all units and then he monitors all the progress in order to provide regular reports to the CEO. The President is supposed to develop measures that will help him to monitor all company operations. He ensures that all company policies and procedures comply with federal laws and regulations. A President is in charge of planning and budgeting capital expenditures.

Whereas it’s the CEO who decides the present and the future of the company and takes the most important decisions, all President’s suggestions and advice are taken into consideration and are never neglected.

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In order to sum things up, let’s cover crucial differences between CEO and President :

  • CEO is the top important person in a company’s hierarchy who is responsible for the company vision and essential strategies. President is the high-level officer that manage operations and implement strategies.
  • CEO considered as senior-most officer accountable to a B of D. President is subordinate to CEO, which is President’s immediate boss.
  • CEO has long-term perspective, whereas President is focused on short-term perspective.
  • The successful company performance is the outcome of President’s effective work. All results achieved by the company is the way to see and measure CEO’s work efforts.

Now you can see what is the difference between CEO and President. You know their main responsibilities and it is possible to answer the question: who is more powerful.