National Occupational Standard for Chief Executive Officer

Definition of occupation

The role of the CEO is the highest-ranking position in the organization. In most situations, people in this role maintain several different relationships. These include relationships with the board, investors, shareholders, regulators, clients, and their internal leadership team. The roles, responsibilities, and deliverables of the CEO can vary significantly based on the lifecycle stage of the company, the size of project, the product, and the services provided, as well as the nature of the business model that the company is using.

Some organizations may focus on product research and product development without getting involved in the entire commercialization cycle of their products. In these companies, competency requirements related to marketing and production processes may not be as crucial as those focusing on producing and selling specialty pharmaceutical products for end-users. In smaller companies, the CEO takes on more of an operational role, while in larger organizations, they can delegate to their executive leadership team. Having a team to manage subfunctions allows the CEO to focus more exclusively on the company’s overall success, which includes developing and executing long-term strategies and increasing shareholder value.

The CEO is also the bearer of the vision with the responsibility of ensuring everybody in the organization identifies with it and stays focused. The CEO is the face of the company and the driving force behind the organizational culture. They act as communicators both internally and externally. In this role, they are responsible for building stakeholder trust in the organization’s ability to deliver on expectations and promises.

As the executive officer of the company, the CEO communicates and discusses the business status with the board of directors, decides on and oversees the business strategy, motivates employees, and drives change. As the senior corporate managers, they govern and direct the company’s day-to-day operations.

In all instances, the CEO takes overall responsibility for integrating the end-to-end value chain of the organization in order to ensure performance excellence.

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