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A Quick Overview of C-Level Poisitions


When looking to staff employees, it’s important to provide as much information about the position as possible, from responsibilities and experience required, to how the position fits into the chain of command. Being as candid as possible will help find the best fit for both parties.

Clearly spelling out the duties of executive and leadership positions is helpful not only in recruiting for those positions, but also in recruiting for the people who will need to report to these C-level executives.

Most people have heard of CEO and CFO positons, but what about CMOs and CDOs? What exactly do the people with these fancy-sounding titles do? Let’s find out:

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO holds the top position, and is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the business. Their duties include:

  • communicating with the board of directors on behalf of management
  • providing leadership and direction to lower-ranking executives
  • serving as the face of the company
  • making major business decisions
  • moving the company to achieve its goals

The role of CEO is high-pressure, and high-responsibility. The decisions made by the CEO have a direct impact on the business, the employees, and the company’s profits.

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The COO is responsible for ongoing operations and procedures within a company, and typically is the second highest-ranking executive, reporting only the CEO. Their duties often include:

  • determining the most productive use of company resources
  • tracking the needs of the company
  • creating plans to meet the company’s long-term needs
  • developing and implementing processes to communicate procedures with staff
  • serving as the top executive in the event that the CEO is unavailable

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The CFO is responsible for the financial health of the company. They often oversee an entire finance or accounting department. Their duties commonly include:

  • monitoring and reporting the financial state of the company to the CEO
  • managing organizational budgeting
  • overseeing payment processes
  • evaluating the security of transactions and financial data
  • developing tax and payroll procedures
  • providing financial projections

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

The CIO’s responsibility is to monitor the value and risk that information technology (It) systems hold for an enterprise, and share this information with executive management. As such, the CIO usually makes an important contribution in establishing the company’s strategic goals. Job duties often include:

  • delegating the oversight of day-to-day IT operations
  • making decisions about IT systems
  • managing the purchasing of new hardware and software
  • monitoring technological advances to keep the company up-to-date
  • planning the implementation of new systems

The roles played by CIOs continue to evolve as workforce landscapes become increasingly reliant on IT.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Similar to the CIO role, CTO is a relatively new executive job title, with responsibilities varying widely from business to business. In general the CTO is responsible for ensuring that a company’s technical systems are the best for the company and that they operate as smoothly as possible. Responsibilities may include:

  • identifying IT risks
  • managing the development of internal software
  • monitoring technology news and trends and reporting impacts that they may have on the company to the CEO and board
  • participating in management decisions
  • staying informed on technology standards and compliance regulations and ensuring that the company is able to meet them

Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)

The overall responsibility of a CDO is to foster a working environment that is inclusive and culturally sensitive. They often do this by:

  • engaging in strategic recruitment efforts
  • planning diversity training sessions for employees
  • creating and implementing internal programs that encourage inclusion
  • identifying areas where the company is lacking in diversity and making recommendations for improvement

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

The CMO is responsible for all aspects of a company’s marketing efforts. They usually supervise an entire marketing department, which is responsible for efforts that often include: traditional advertising, digital advertising, social media, public relations, media outreach, direct mail marketing, and more. The CMO‘s job duties frequently include:

  • analyzing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • creating new and innovative campaigns to stay ahead of competition
  • bringing in new clients and customers at a low cost to the company
  • reporting their results to the CEO

These are just a few of the positions that are often found at the executive level of companies. As the business world becomes more digital, the roles and responsibilities of these and other positions frequently change to keep up.

Whether our descriptions match those at your company or are completely different, it is important to provide each employee with a detailed and thorough description of their position. Clearly stating the functions of each position sets your employees, and your business, up for success!