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What do the Different Executives on a Business Management Board do?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Every company in the world needs a leader or a team of leaders to ensure the success and sustainability of the business. Top executives, lead managers or business owners are all charged with the power of looking after a business’ processes, revenue, profit, human capital and more. Without a competent leader or team of leaders at the helm, a company can quickly hit turbulent times and even fail.

Those on a board of directors are seen as high-level policy and decision makers and are responsible for the wellbeing of both the business as an entity and the workforce within. They are also held accountable by outside investors or stakeholders for positive annual results, growth and profit. The overall ‘health’ of a business relies heavily on management’s ability to make the best decisions for the business by adhering to their long-term strategic plans and goals. A successful business is only as strong as the leaders that are in control of the helm.

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is often the most powerful and experienced board member. This person often exudes excellent management skills, insightful product or business knowledge, and has a wealth of experience behind their name. Their portfolio is to be the driving force and head decision maker for the company. He or she will be responsible for steering the business in the right direction with the right resources and the right team. The CEO is essentially the face of the business and is generally respected within their company as the person in charge.

Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Office, or COO, is usually second in charge and is responsible for the general operation of the business. This person will ensure that all company processes are efficient, cost-effective and running smoothly. The COO is tasked with overseeing the daily operational and administrative functions and is often seen as the righthand person to the CEO as they work closely together. The Chief Operating Officer is sometimes also known as the Operations Director or Executive Vice President of Operations.

Chief Product or Marketing Officer

The CPO, or Chief Product Officer, is usually the person in charge of all the marketing activities of a business. This will include internal and external communications, traditional media avenues, and digital marketing efforts. Therefore, this executive must have vast marketing knowledge and be an industrious creative thinker as the success of any entity relies heavily on the marketing and advertising efforts of a company. Traditional, print, broadcast and digital media – as well as the brand identity, awareness and exposure are all part of the CPO’s portfolio.

Chief Financial Officer

As the title describes, the Chief Financial Officer or CFO is responsible for all the activities involving the assets of a company, the money it makes and the money it requires to operate. The CFO will deal with banks, investors, lenders and other financial and legal entities in order to protect the company’s assets, manage the processes that require spending as well as manage the processes that bring in capital in any form. This senior executive is responsible for the cash flow, financial planning and processes of a business. Fiscal health is the main responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer.

Chief Information Officer

One or two decades ago, the Chief Information Officer, or CIO, was not a popular position on a board of executives or directors, but as the world has evolved, so have the executive functions of companies. The fourth industrial revolution is heavily set in technological advancements and information processing. Therefore, a CIO is responsible for the management and implementation of computer technologies and structures. As the world moves to a digital platform and a more paperless environment, the IT sector has grown and with this growth, the need for a CIO erupted. Having a knowledgeable and critical thinking CIO is essential to the successful operations of a business, especially if it is a tech based one. The IT strategy will form part of the CIO’s portfolio and will align to the operations strategy that the COO sets out. This executive is normally an agile thinker, a strategic enabler and an expert in the IT sector.

Other Lead Management Positions

Usually a board is made up of qualified and experienced executives or directors with a lower level of management just beneath them. The individuals in the second tier management level are those who are actively working their way to becoming an executive and are constantly improving their skillsets and qualifications.  You can find out more about the relevant qualifications here.

Lead management positions in this sphere include managers of all kinds, such as an Operations Manager, Logistics Manager, Marketing Manager, Human Resources Manager, Office Manager, Technical Manager etc. The team of managers on this level all work closely together to ensure the effective execution of the executive management’s processes and strategies set out by the board. These business managers also act as the buffer between the workforce and top-level management, which at times creates a silo of authority but is often needed to set the business on course to success.

Key personnel such as the positions mentioned above keep the business running with day-to-day activities while the executives will define the broader strategy for doing so. Every activity that is carried out is done so with the CEO’s vision at the heart of it. Therefore, the relationship between the executives and managers should be one of confidence, trust and accountability. Both levels of management will work together for the benefit of the organization as a whole.

The Benefits of a Qualified and Skilled Workforce

Combining the experience, qualifications and insights of high-level executives and the managers produces the advantage of collaboration, expertise and knowledge. The combination of these two spheres of management produces high levels of performance, which is beneficial to the bottom line of any organization. Performing companies usually have highly motivated and passionate team members who go above and beyond for their organization and this most certainly pays off.

Passion and Motivation

Passion, motivation and incentives are a great workforce driver, which is where the Human Resources department makes the most impact. Qualified and experienced HR Managers make the biggest impact in terms of human capital in an organization, which is why they are an integral part of any team. Creating a culture and workspace that is conducive to collaboration, overall happiness and wellbeing cements the cliché of appreciated employees returning the favor to their company by working smarter and harder. It has been proven that health and wellness in the workplace contributes to less downtime, less employee turnover, and better working environments.

Problem Solving and Innovation

Another advantage of collaboration between experienced or qualified individuals is that problem-solving and innovation are taken to the next level. A skilled workforce is able to tackle problems and solve them creatively and quickly – especially when you have a varied mix of personalities amongst them. This produces improved creativity and better innovation, which is not only great for the business but for the individuals within the company too.


A qualified or experienced workforce is also a cost-effective human capital strategy. Employees that are highly skilled or qualified may cost more in salaries, but in the long-term they save on costly mistakes with dire consequences which are made by unqualified or inexperienced workers. Mistakes cost money and time, and most entities will go out of their way to avoid such mishaps. However, in terms of collaboration benefits, one should never underestimate what a younger employee brings to the table. A mix of generations within a business is crucial to its success as each person sees things differently and can come up with new or unique solutions that the older generations have not considered.

Profitability and Growth

A highly skilled workforce also brings profitability and growth with them. Higher volumes of productivity and creative output comes with people who have the required skillsets to do so. An experienced designer, for example, will produce an attractive design in half the time a junior designer would. If time is money, profitability is linked to the skills of suitably qualified individuals. In the same breath though, these managers or senior positions can impart their wealth of knowledge and skills to the younger generations entering the workforce. The combination of these two aspects can be highly profitable, especially when the two levels of individuals start working as one unit.

It is clear that the best combination of workers is comprised of executives, managers and the workforce in general. With the executive or business management board in charge, a company should run like a well-oiled machine. The supportive roles their managers bring are part of the recipe to success as they are the oil to the machine. Ensuring adequate levels of skilled individuals throughout the business makeup will result in better profitability and success. Having a talented pool of people within a business can speak to their long-term success and sustainability efforts. Afterall, it is said that a successful business is only as strong as its weakest team member.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.