General Question

occ's avatar

What is the difference between a CEO, COO, and CFO?

Asked by occ (4083points) August 14th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

helena's avatar

Hi occ! I am guessing you want to know what it is they typically do. First, let's get the terms down.

CEO is the Chief Executive Officer. Their responsibilities depend on the size of the company. This person is responsible for overall direction, keeping the company competitive and visionary for their space. They speak to wall street quarterly. They are where the buck stops on any decision.

COO is the Chief Operations Officer. They are responsible for the tactical execution that keeps the company running on a day-to-day, year-to-year basis.

CFO is the Chief Financial Officer. Accountant Extraordinaire. Responsible for proper financial business practices, accounts payable and receivable, financial planning and keeping the company on financial track as per its vision and goals. Answers to the CEO and to the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

CTO is the Chief Technology Officer. Responsible for developing and implementing technology strategy.

helena's avatar

P.S. CEO is responsible to shareholders or to self or to board, depending on the type of biz.

glial's avatar

Don't for get CIO, and ever powerful EIEIO.

helena's avatar

Dear glial, I totally forgot about agro-business! You make me laugh!

So, YOU say what CIO is!

glial's avatar

Chief Information Officer heads up the information technology group. Glad to get a is that great answer worthy lol.

helena's avatar

Now I see your profile it all makes sense! Of course you know EIEIO, you are from Texas!

Selcouth's avatar

Heheh, wow – Ive never even heard of a CIO.

CEO is the one who definitely sits on the board, though in many companies all the C-level folk do. Founders also frequently start as the CEO, CTO, and/or COO, but do not always continue to hold the position as the company grows (in fact, it seems more often than not that they are asked to step down after a time).

And am I incorrect in thinking there is, occasionally, a CMO – Chief Marketing Officer?

Dragosani_1's avatar

Rodney Dangerfield sat on the bored before the trip plo lindey

Response moderated (Spam)
Crystal5's avatar

Well, actually, they all play a vital role in guiding the company to a better future.

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