The chief executive officer (CEO) is the highest ranking individual in a company. Generally responsible for the wellbeing of the organisation as a whole - the buck stops with them. Usually appointed by the board of directors, they are charged with outlining the future strategies and direction of the company. At a public level, they're the face of their organisation. While the CEO takes credit for company success stories, they are also held accountable for any ethical or financial failings of their company.
Along with being aware of the company's position in the public eye, the CEO sources opportunities to expand and keeps up with industry developments. They're generally expected to have years of executive experience, a natural ability to lead, impeccable project management skills and an intimate knowledge of the day-to-day challenges facing their industry and organisation.
There's no hard and fast route to being a CEO. A degree helps, a substantial background in business, and a tireless drive to succeed are even better. Every CEO carves out their own approach, but the most successful are decisive, natural leaders capable of engaging with their board and employees, getting ideas across, and motivating groups with ease.
In practical terms, the CEO will keep an open dialogue with the board, guide budgeting and influence HR policy. The ability to communicate clearly and regularly is crucial, as the CEO sets the tone for the whole company. Done well, this can raise the organisation's public profile, while inspiring employees and engaging consumers the late great Steve Jobs anyone?