The Difference Between a CEO and a President

The CEO is the highest-ranking executive and the decision maker in a company. The president is a high-level executive who is usually second in command, below the CEO. The duties of the CEO and the president may vary depending on the size and needs of the company. A president is second in command of a company, directly below the CEO.

If a company does not have a CEO, the president holds the highest position in the organization. If the CEO is the main salesperson, the president is the chief manager. The president of the company supervises the people of the company and implements the business strategies established by the CEO. Looking at these points, it can be seen that there are clear differences between the roles and responsibilities of a chief operating officer and a president, particularly in large organizations.

Understanding these distinctions can also help you navigate corporate hierarchies and plan your own professional development, especially if you are aiming for a high-level position such as CEO or President. In business, CEOs are typically senior executives of a corporation, with the CEO being the most well-known type. An executive director (CEO), also known as a central executive director (CEO), managing director (CAO), or simply chief executive officer (CE), is one of several corporate executives responsible for managing an organization, particularly an independent legal entity such as a company or non-profit institution. The president is second in command after the CEO (or first in command if there is no CEO) and usually also serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Subordinate chief executives who typically report to the CEO include the chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief strategy officer (CSO), and chief commercial officer (CBO). The public-relations-focused position of chief reputation officer may also be included among these subordinate CEOs, but as Anthony Johndrow, CEO of Reputation Economy Advisors, suggests, it can also be seen as another way to emphasize the role of modern CEOs, where both external and internal faces are seen as driving forces behind organizational culture. In general, the CEO is considered to be the highest-ranking official of a company, while the president is second in command; however, depending on corporate governance and structure, various permutations can occur, so roles of CEO and president may differ from one organization to another. These officers use their leadership and problem-solving skills to oversee day-to-day operations of a company and ensure that it runs smoothly at all levels. The primary responsibilities of a CEO include managing operations and resources, making important corporate decisions, being primary liaison between board of directors and corporate operations, and being public face of company.