The many duties of a CEO

by Evan Davies, Chief Executive - VIC, QLD & NZ | |   Leadership
The many duties of a CEO

In a nutshell, the Chief Executive Officer is responsible for leading the development and execution of the company's long term strategy with a view to creating shareholder value. They are ultimately responsible for all day-to-day management decisions and implementation of the company's long and short term plans.

The CEO acts as a direct liaison between the Board and management of the enterprise and communicates to the Board on behalf of management. The CEO also communicates on behalf of the company to shareholders, employees, Government authorities, other stakeholders and the public.

More specifically, the duties and responsibilities of the CEO are:

  1. to lead, in conjunction with the Board, the development of the company's strategy;
  2. to lead and oversee the implementation of the company's long and short term plans in accordance with its strategy;
  3. to ensure the company is appropriately organised and staffed; and to have the authority to hire and terminate staff as necessary to enable it to achieve the approved strategy;
  4. to ensure that expenditures of the company are within the authorised annual budget of the company;
  5. to assess the principal risks of the company and to ensure that these risks are being monitored and managed;
  6. to ensure effective internal controls and management information systems are in place;
  7. to ensure that the company has appropriate systems to enable it to conduct its activities both lawfully and ethically;
  8. to ensure that the company maintains high standards of corporate citizenship and social responsibility wherever it does business;
  9. to act as a liaison between management and the Board;
  10. to communicate effectively with shareholders, employees, Government authorities, other stakeholders and the public;
  11. to keep abreast of all material undertakings and activities of the company and all material external factors affecting the company and to ensure that processes and systems are in place to ensure that the CEO and management of the company are adequately informed;
  12. to ensure that the Directors are properly informed and that sufficient information is provided to the Board to enable the Directors to form appropriate judgments;
  13. to ensure the integrity of all public disclosure by the company;
  14. in concert with the Chairman, to develop Board agendas;
  15. to request that special meetings of the Board be called when appropriate;
  16. jointly with the Chairman, to determine the date, time and location of the annual meeting of shareholders and to develop the agenda for the meeting;
  17. to sit on committees of the Board where appropriate as determined by the Board; and
  18. to abide by specific internally established control systems and authorities, to lead by personal example and encourage all employees to conduct their activities in accordance with all applicable laws and the company's standards and procedures, including its environmental, safety and health policies.

Of course, the CEO's day-to-day duties may depend on the size of the company he or she oversees. In a big company, setting the strategy in all departments and for all facets of the industry can be a full-time job. For example, you don't often see CEOs of large corporations stepping into the warehouse and helping to get orders through. In smaller companies and start-ups, a CEO may take a more hands-on role. He or she is more likely to step into any role necessary to get the job done.


The CEO Institute was founded in 1992. It is now Australia's leading membership organisation for CEOs and senior executives. It provides a forum for over 1,000 Chief Executive members to connect and share their learning with each other. In 2011, The CEO Institute became the world’s first global certification body for CEOs, and in 2013, partnered with UNESCO in support of the "Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education". In 2014, they began offering their programs globally.
 
The CEO Syndicate is an exclusive peer support network for CEOs. The first meeting of The CEO Syndicate program was held in Melbourne in June 1992. Offices were opened in Adelaide in 1996 and Sydney and Brisbane in 1997, with Perth launching in 2007. In 2015, the New Zealand office opened.
 
The Future CEO program is a certification course designed by the business leaders of today for the business leaders of tomorrow. The first Future CEO meeting was held in Melbourne in May 2012. In 2014, the "Future CEO Scholarship Fund for Women" was established, and continues to be offered today.

Membership of The CEO Institute is by invitation only. To register your interest, click enquire.

 

 

 

 

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