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What Does a CEO Do

“A leader is someone who can think strategically, simplify the strategy so everyone in the organization can understand it and communicate that strategy simply, enthusiastically, and in a caring way.” — Ajay Banga, CEO, MasterCard

In the above quote, the CEO of MasterCard – Ajay Banga, mentioned one of the things that a CEO does. Let us understand what exactly a CEO does

Who is a CEO?

A chief executive officer of a company is one of the C-suite positions in an organization. Someone who leads in an organization has a very holistic perspective that aids the company’s success; at the same time, a CEO works on defining what kind of success is required for the company. They are also the executive leaders of the company. 

What does a CEO do?

The answer to this question is quite easy and equally complicated. A CEO’s job is not a one-way path that everyone can take, but rather a path that changes for everyone. Therefore, explaining what exactly a CEO does would be difficult, but here is a brief overview of the duties that a CEO has to undertake. 

  1. Set strategic goals and objectives: First and foremost a CEO is someone who sets the overall direction for the company. The process for the achievement of the goal is set in motion by coming up with a strategy. This requires having a clear understanding of the company’s products or services, target market, and competition and use that knowledge to create a vision for the company’s future.
  2. Make important decisions: As an executive officer, the chief executive officer is the ultimate decision-maker in the company and is responsible for making critical decisions that will impact the company’s success.
  3. Lead the management team: Leading the management team and creating a culture that aligns with the company’s values and mission is important. This is done by ensuring that the right people are hired and trained, creating a positive work environment, and promoting a sense of teamwork and collaboration.
  4. Ensure effective financial performance: Although, the financial health comes under the purview of the CFO, the CEO is also responsible for the financial performance of the company and therefore must have a deep understanding of its financials and be able to make strategic decisions that will drive growth and profitability.
  5. Represent the company: As you must have seen many times, the chief executive officer is frequently the company’s public face. For example, Mark Zuckerberg is often held responsible for the actions of Facebook. This is due to the CEO’s frequent appearance in the media and through public relations, as well as serving as the primary spokesperson to shareholders and other stakeholders. They also play a key role in building relationships with other companies and organizations, both as potential partners and competitors.
  6. Communicate with the board: As an executive officer they are held accountable by the board of directors and must keep them informed of the company’s performance and any major decisions or changes that are made.
  7. Ensure compliance and follow proper legalities: It comes under the chief executive officer’s responsibilities to ensure that the company is in compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and industry standards.
  8. Improve continuously: The CEO must stay current with industry trends and changes to ensure that the company is constantly evolving and improving.

It is important to understand that not all CEOs have the same duties and responsibilities, the specifics of a CEO’s role change depending on the size, industry, and specific needs of the company they work for.

Skills needed for a chief executive officer

As mentioned above, CEOs have a number of duties to perform. Becoming a CEO is a challenging and rewarding career path that requires a set of skills and qualities. Here are some of the key skills and qualities needed for becoming a CEO:

  1. Business acumen: Have a deep understanding of the business world and be able to make strategic decisions that will drive growth and profitability.
  2. Leadership: A CEO has to lead a team, make difficult decisions, and inspire and motivate employees to work towards a common goal.
  3. Strategic thinking: Ability to anticipate and adapt to changes in the market, industry, and economy, and have a strategic mindset to identify new opportunities.
  4. Communication: Communicate effectively with different audiences, including employees, shareholders, stakeholders, and the media.
  5. Decision-making: Make critical decisions under pressure and take calculated risks.
  6. Visionary: Have a clear vision for the company’s future and be able to communicate that vision to the employees, shareholders, and stakeholders.
  7. Adaptability: A CEO must adapt to changes and be open to new ideas and perspectives.
  8. Emotional intelligence: Understanding and managing their own emotions as well as the emotions of others.
  9. Ethics: Have strong ethics and integrity and must be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and its stakeholders.
  10. Technical and domain knowledge: Have a good understanding of the company’s industry and products.

Education for CEO

Here are some executive education programs that would help in advancing your career as a CEO.

Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM)

The Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM) is a general management program that prepares you for the next level of leadership. This program is created in such a way that it helps transform proven leaders into global executives ready to lead the charge. The Berkeley Executive Program in Management encourages its participants to reflect, enhance strategic thinking, and develop authentic leadership. It is designed to create an immersive, relevant and dynamic learning experience for senior executives, ready for the next level of the leadership challenge. It includes modules on advanced management competencies, leading innovative change, etc., which are a must for a person in C-level positions, to ensure growth of the company.

MIT Professional Education Technology Leadership Program (TLP)

This is a multi-modular program delivered by MIT faculty on campus and live virtually and geared towards the development needs of the next generation of technology CEOs, CTO’s, CIO’s and emerging leaders.  The program is designed for technology leaders and experienced practitioners from large corporations as well as startups – innovation-oriented firms who are focusing on leveraging emerging digital technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. After completion of TLP, you will be a part of a cohort of global leaders and practitioners. You will also become an integral part of the global MIT Professional Education network and will be considered alumni of TLP as well as MIT Professional Education.

UCLA Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives (UCLA PGPX)

It is an extensive general management program offered by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, one of the world’s top business schools. It is a part-time program with a modular format that provides great flexibility for busy professionals, while the UCLA faculty and industry leaders ensure that the program covers all aspects of best-in-class management education expected from a highly respected and globally renowned institution. The UCLA PGPX will put you on the map of global leadership, with a combination of strategies, skills, and acumen that will stretch your thinking and hone your abilities as a leader and manager capable of achieving remarkable growth in your business. This program has been designed to expose the participants to management and business leadership essentials in an extensive general management curriculum that is designed to be experiential in learning and applied in focus. 

Being a CEO is not always easy, and it requires a combination of business acumen, leadership skills, and strategic thinking. It’s a challenging and rewarding career path, requiring many years of experience in a senior management role, as well as an advanced degree in business or a related field.


A CEO is a high-ranking executive in a company and is responsible for the overall management and direction of the organization. They are accountable to the board of directors and are the public face of the company. A CEO’s job is to set the vision and strategy for the company, build the best possible team to execute on that vision and strategy, and hold that team accountable for delivering the results. The role requires a combination of business acumen, leadership skills, and strategic thinking, and becoming a CEO is a challenging and rewarding career path.

The full form of CEO is chief executive officer. They are the head executive agent in an organization. A global program such as Berkley EMP prepares you for such a role. 

A CEO is not exactly a boss but certainly has decision-making powers in a company and their decision would often prevail over other officers in a company.

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