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Chief Executive Officer


How to Become a Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Chief Executive Officer
CEO Salaries
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Chief Executive Officer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Chief Executive Officer

The path to CEO is a mysterious one and isn't always straightforward. On the whole, many CEOs hold bachelors and masters degrees in a field of business, but not all. The more important part of a CEO's resume is the experience vs. the education, it seems, although attending a top rated school may open up the choicest opportunities for businesspeople starting out. A strong track record in business, public office and sometimes academia with an emphasis on bringing about solid results, making sound decisions, and keeping a company out of trouble would probably best describe the backgrounds of most successful CEOs. In the business world, there is only one CEO per company, so the path to CEO is a highly competitive one, as well.

What does a Chief Executive Officer do?

A CEO is one of the top executives that are the responsible for the leadership of a company. The CEO, along with other chief executives, is accountable to the board of directors, if there is one, and is responsible for overseeing, establishing and enforcing the a company's goals and policies. As an employee, the CEO is the top ranking officer of the company.

CEOs are seen as the captains of their companies, providing vision and guidance, leading the company forward, and holding responsibility for the various obligations that company has, especially when it comes to shareholders. The role of CEO is one of both spokesperson for the company as well as chief overseer of company operations and is the direct report to the other chief officers in finance, marketing, technology, information, human resources and operations. The latter task is sometimes shared or delegated with the Chief Operating Officer, President, VP of Operations, or other such titles. CEOs sometimes also hold the title of Chairman. CEOs attend a lot of meetings and some travel quite a bit.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Chief Executive Officer?

CEOs need to have strong intuition about what needs to happen in a company and how to execute that next step for success. To say they need people skills is a huge understatement - they need exceptional interpersonal skills. They also need an exceptional ability to process large amounts of sometimes disparate data to understand what is actually happening in the market place, in the industry, with competitors and within his/her own company.

Good judgment, sound decision making, strategic thinking and above average insight are also important. To become a CEO, you must be truly good at what you do and passionate about it. Beyond the above, the book stores are full of varying ideas of what it really takes to become not only an exceptional leader but an above average CEO.

How much does a CEO make?

This is a tricky area to provide statistics on. Some CEOs make very little and are considerably underpaid. For example, for some years Stephen Jobs the CEO and Chairman of Apple, Inc. has taken home a salary of $1.00 (one dollar). Compensation for CEOs is also not limited to salary, but bonuses, various types of stock options, and other forms of non-salary compensation are also used. At large companies, it's not unheard of for CEOs to make millions. At small companies, the salary is obviously much lower. It does not follow that the larger the company, the larger the salary. It is a consistent trend though that the larger profile the job, the higher the pay tends to be.


Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Simply look at the heads of the largest, most prestigious and/or up and coming companies today, and you will find today's leaders in business.

One of the most famous CEOs is Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Computers and former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The American Management Association is an organization dedicated to management training and professional development. The AMA provides experiential learning and helps people develop business success.

Institute for Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) provides management certification and management certification. They hope to help managers and executives to grow and develop professionally.

What are the top cities for Chief Executive Officer jobs?

Because every company virtually has a CEO, there is no one place to go to find the best opportunities.

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