What is the Difference Between a CEO and a Director?

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking employee of a for-profit company. This person is hired by the board of directors and is accountable to them, while everyone else in the company reports to the CEO one way or another. The board of directors depends on the shareholders and it is their responsibility to ensure that the company meets its fiscal objectives. Directors, who act as members of the board, meet and discuss the future direction of a company.

Within the corporate office or corporate center of a corporation, some corporations have a president and a chief executive officer (CEO) as the highest-ranking executive, while number two is the president and chief operating officer (COO); other corporations have a president and a CEO but not an official deputy. Senior managers are generally higher than vice presidents, although often a senior official may also have a vice president title, such as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). The board of directors is technically not part of the administration itself, although its president can be considered part of the corporate office if he is an executive president. A corporation is often made up of different companies, whose top executives report directly to the CEO or COO, but that depends on the form of the company.

If organized as a division, the senior manager is often referred to as an Executive Vice President (EVP). If that company is a subsidiary that has considerably greater independence, then the title could be President and CEO. In some companies, the CEO also holds the title of president. In other companies, a president is a different person, and the primary duties of the two positions are defined in the company's bylaws (or the laws of the applicable legal jurisdiction).

Many companies also have a chief financial officer, chief operating officer (COO), and other senior positions, such as chief legal officer (CLO), chief strategy officer (CSO), marketing director (CMO), etc., that report to the president and CEO. The next level, which are not executive positions, is middle management and can be called vice presidents, directors, or managers, depending on the size and required managerial depth of the company. In British English, the title of managing director is generally synonymous with that of CEO. CEOs have no particular authority under the UK Companies Act, but they do have implied authority based on a general understanding of what their position entails, as well as any authority expressly delegated by the board of directors. American companies are generally led by a CEO.

U. S. state laws traditionally required the creation of certain positions within each corporation, such as president, secretary, and treasurer. Today, the approach under the Model Business Corporations Act, which is employed in many states, is to give corporations discretion in determining what titles they hold, with the only mandatory body being the board of directors. The president influences the board of directors which in turn elects and dismisses officers of a corporation and oversees its human, financial, environmental and technical operations.

Officers also have authority to legally bind a corporation especially in case of executive officers. In fact CEOs can be directors but most companies want split between these two professionals. Their duties typically include maintaining strong communication with CEO and high-level executives; formulating company's business strategy; representing management and board to public and shareholders; maintaining corporate integrity. Typically duties of executive director or CEO include making decisions; developing strategy and other key policy issues; in addition to being manager or executor. This is because CEOs have clear interests in success of company while many directors are hired just to provide guidance. A Managing Director (CAO) can be found in many large and complex organizations that have multiple departments or divisions. Technology companies of all types now tend to have chief technology officer (CTO) to manage technology development. Therefore we can safely say that CEO or CEO comes into play directly under board of directors of organization.

For example Director of Audit (CAE); Director of Procurement (CPO); Chief Risk Officer (CRO) positions are often found in many types of financial services companies. Chief Executive Officer vs Managing Director has common goal of managing and executing operation in which MD can play advisory role. Both CEO and Managing Director are top level and important position in organization.