Difference between CEO and President

 

Key difference: A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is essentially the highest-ranking executive in the company. He has most of the power. He reports directly to the board of directors. A president, on the other hand, ranks lower than a CEO on the corporate hierarchy. He reports to the CEO. Essentially, the President handles the day-to-day running of the company, and acts as a liaison between the management and the CEO. The CEO, in turn handles the planning and strategy aspect of the business, the long term plans. He also acts as a liaison between the company as a whole and the Board of Directors.

 

CEO and President are two different job titles in a company. So, who does what? A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is essentially the highest-ranking executive in the company. He has most of the power. He reports directly to the board of directors. Other names for the position of CEO include Managing Director (MD), Chief Executive (CE), and Executive Director (ED).

 

A president, on the other hand, ranks lower than a CEO on the corporate hierarchy. He reports to the CEO. An alternative title to the President is the Chief Operating Officer, (COO). In the United States of America, the chairman of the board of directors may be called a President, while a COO would be another position. At times, the CEO would also act as the Chairman of the Board of Directors; usually however, the chairman is another position entirely.

 

The responsibilities of the CEO and the President differ according to their position on the corporate hierarchy. The CEO or MD is responsible for the company’s direction and long term goals. The CEO acts as a director, decision maker, leader, manager and executor for the company. He may act a communicator between the company and the rest of the world, mainly via the press. He may also act as a communicator between the company and its management and employees.

 

The CEO is the one who is has to make the tough decision for the company as a whole to ensure that the company is growing, is moving is the required direction, it making profit, etc. He is responsible for making high-level decisions about policy and strategy. He has to ensure where the company will be in 5 or 10 years and how it will get there.  

 

In order to ensure that the company is profitable, the CEO must look at cost-cutting measures, as well as ensure that the resources are being utilized optimally. He has to implement initiatives, innovations, performance and strategy to help achieve the company’s short and long term goals.

 

The President, on the other hand, is responsible for the day to day functioning of the company. He must overlook the company’s work, ensure that the orders are coming in and are being fulfilled on time, ensure payment is collected, etc. The President’s job requires him to manage all the managers and department heads, within the company.

 

The President is also responsible for ensuring that the CEO’s strategy is being implemented and that the company is moving in the right direct to fulfill the CEO’s 5-year or 10-year plan for the company. The President must also ensure that roles of the various departments, such as human resources, infrastructure and equipment are running smoothly.

 

Essentially, the President handles the day-to-day running of the company, and acts as a liaison between the management and the CEO. The CEO, in turn handles the planning and strategy aspect of the business, the long term plans. He also acts as a liaison between the company as a whole and the Board of Directors.

 

Furthermore, if a conglomerate has various companies, divisions and/or subsidies under it, the CEO may have many Presidents, each handling one company, division or subsidy. While, there would only be one CEO for the whole conglomerate.

 

Image Courtesy: gwinnettforum.com

Image Courtesy: panasonic.net 

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Comments

Forming an S Corp,with individual with great skill sets in Mgmt,his desire is to be CEO.
I located partnership,business,invited him to partner,and my expertise is acquiring business,marketing.He suggestd myself as President. I really don't want a competitive(who's the boss atmosphere) in a law firm you would just have Senior Partners,
Is there such a thing as President & Founder? Then if he were CEO, it may seem like a more level playing field> I did not see Founder anywhere in your material. Thank you very much. Bob Haunschild

Hey Bob, 
Yes, there could be a President & Founder or CEO & Founder. Founder is a separate title that can stand as is or be attached to any other title. For example, if the founder of the company is working as the President of that company, then his title can be President & Founder. Similarly, if the founder of the company is fulfilling the duties of the CEO, then his title will be Founder & CEO. 

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