Definitions of CEO

Definitions of CEO

What is a CEO?

Definition: CEO comes from the US and stands for ‘Chief Executive Officer’. In German-speaking countries, according to abbreviationfinder, the abbreviation CEO is mainly used for the managing director or the executive board member of a company, occasionally also for a board chairman or general manager. The function of the “German CEO” largely corresponds to that of the managing director

The Role of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

A chief executive officer (CEO) holds the most senior management position in Anglo-Saxon companies. He bears the main responsibility for corporate decisions, is the link between the most important committees, represents the company with his person and shapes its image in public.

The exact tasks of the CEO depend on the size, culture and structure of the respective company. In large companies, for example, the CEO is limited to making the most important strategic decisions and managing the overall business. In contrast, the CEO in smaller companies usually has a more practical function and also takes care of the operational business.

CEO definition in German

CEO stands for chief executive officer and is usually equated with managing director in German. In practice, the functions mostly correspond. But legally there are differences between ‘GF’ and ‘CEO’. The CEO is also defined inconsistently in different cultures.

CEO: position

CEO instead of managing director: This English-language term is appearing more and more frequently in German company descriptions, system descriptions or means of communication. This can be seen as a result of globalization and the international positioning of many companies, but also the increased adoption of Anglicisms.

CEO = Managing Director? These are the differences:

  • In German companies there can be several managing directors. According to Anglo-Saxon understanding, there is only one CEO in every company. He is the sole or most responsible person at the top of the company
  • Unlike the term managing director, the term CEO has no legal relevance in German. Rather, it is used as a functional description. In Anglo-Saxon it has legal force
  • The term CEO is used worldwide – but interpreted differently. In many countries, the people referred to as CEOs are not at the top but at a lower hierarchical level. In addition to them there is, for example, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Chief Operating Officer (COO) in such cases.

CEO: Tasks and functions

In the German-speaking area, the CEOs are usually responsible for the typical managing director functions. For example, you are responsible for strategic orientation, market positioning and the achievement of corporate goals. They form the highest decision-making body of management. In stock corporations, they also report to the board of directors.

The CEO in Franchising

In franchising, the term CEO usually refers to the founder or managing director of a franchise system operating as a GmbH. Among other things, he takes on the strategic orientation, ensures a convincing positioning, monitors the achievement of corporate goals and manages the system headquarters, the company ‘s own operations and its franchise network. Important tasks: see obligations of the franchisor and division of labor in franchising, including eg know-how transfer.

If the franchisor operates as a stock corporation, the initiator usually assumes the role of chairman of the board and often later changes to the position of chairman of the supervisory board.

Other title abbreviations

The following Anglo-Saxon job titles from management are increasingly being used in local companies:

  • CBDO: Chief Business Development Officer
  • CCO: Chief Content Officer
  • CEO: Chief Executive Officer
  • CFO: Chief Financial Officer
  • CHRO: Chief Human Resources Officer
  • CIO: Chief Information Officer
  • CKO: Chief Knowledge Officer
  • CMO: Chief Marketing Officer
  • COB: Chairman of the Board
  • COO: Chief Operating Officer
  • CRO: Chief Risk Officer
  • CTO: Chief Technology Officer
  • CVO: Chief Visionary Officer

Definitions of CEO