Chief executives provide overall direction to companies and organisations. They devise and implement policies, procedures and strategies to ensure the company's goals are met.
Chief executives oversee financial activities, product development, sales, services, human resources and expansion plans. They coordinate with and supervise other top executives and typically report progress to a board of directors.
Duties and responsibilities
- Direct or coordinate a company's financial activities, including budgeting and investments
- Appoint department heads, create hierarchical arrangements and assign responsibilities
- Manage activities related to developing and creating products and providing services
- Evaluate organisational structure and activities, assess problems, and implement improvements
- Consult with board members, executives and staff about budgets and operations
- Devise and implement policies and procedures to ensure continued operations, productivity and efficiency
- Analyse financial reports, sales numbers and other documents to evaluate profits and areas for improvement
- Negotiate or approve contracts and agreements
- Supervise acquisitions of equipment and supplies
- Oversee selection of sites, construction of buildings for expansion and compliance with regulations
- Serve as liaison between organisation and shareholders or other related businesses,/li>
- Represent organisation or assign delegates to do so for council meetings and other important functions
- Review reports by staff members and offer suggestions or approval
- Preside over or serve on board of directors and management committees
- Attend industry conferences to network, present speeches to exchange ideas or promote services
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Nights, weekends, holidays occasionally
Chief executives work in small and large organisations, and in nearly every industry. They juggle several responsibilities and typically work long hours, including nights and weekends.
You will likely travel frequently for meetings and conferences as well as to local, regional, national and international offices.
Prepare for extensive interaction with other high-level executives, both inside and outside the company. This can also include government officials.
Being responsible for the entire success of a business can be stressful, and failure could result in job loss.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Master’s degree in business administration
Education requirements can vary depending on the industry and size of the company. Most chief executives have at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, public administration, law or a degree related to their industry. Those at the top of large organisations frequently have a master's in business administration (MBA).
Chief executives typically need extensive experience before achieving their position. You may move up the ladder from managerial roles in your own company.
Some positions may require the executive acquire a certification, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) designation.
Experience may be substituted for education, particularly if you ascend through the managerial ranks of a single company. Success in growing a company's reputation and profits can lead to job offers for chief executive positions at larger and more lucrative organisations.
Earning an MBA and relevant certifications can help you achieve challenging and profitable executive roles with more stringent requirements.