In this article, we will tell you who C-level executives are, what they are, what their duties are, and so on. You will also learn where to find even more information and help if you need it.
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About relevant things in simple words
So what is a C-level executive? “C-level” stands for “Chief-level” and the name speaks for itself. Understanding the role of C-level executives is of high importance for every company. Managers of this level occupy leading positions in companies. Different companies may have their own hierarchy with their own name for all top managers.
Despite this, it is possible to distinguish the main positions and a kind of universal gradation:
- CEO – Chief Executive Officer. In simpler terms, it is “a boss over bosses”. The main position in the company, the person whose actions directly determine whether the company will succeed or not. All other C-level executives report to this manager.
- COO – Chief Operating Officer. Not every company has this position, but if it does – this manager is the “right hand” of CEO and second-in-comand after him. He also ensures that all strategies and plans created by other departments are correctly implemented.
- CFO – Chief Financial Officer. As the name implies, this manager monitors all cash flows in the company and is engaged in the layout of the budget.
- CTO – Chief Technology Officer. It is at the head of all technological solutions that help the company grow and work properly. He is also involved in the development and implementation of computer systems and monitors internal security (IT sector). Quite often, such a manager may be called Chief Information Officer. In some companies, both positions may exist. In this case, the CTO is responsible for the creation and introduction of brand-new products and systems. The CIO ensures internal security and that the company’s IT sector runs as smoothly as possible.
- CMO – Chief Marketing Officer. As its name says – this manager is responsible for whole marketing strategy and usually works with other CEOs such as CHRO or CFO in order to make the best marketing strategy available. This manager is also responsible for implementing this strategy on most levels.
- CHRO – Chief Human Resource Officer. This manager is fully responsible for the workforce. It is he who creates the criteria for hiring, promoting and firing employees. He must also create and implement the infrastructure for training and education of employees, if necessary.
- CLO – Chief Legal Officer. In essence, this is the chief lawyer of the entire company, heading the legal department. Responsible for the legality of the entire business and usually acts on behalf of the company in the event of litigation.
- CDO – Chief Diversity Officer. Relatively new position in the ranks of senior managers. Such a manager is responsible for regulating inclusiveness and diversity within the ranks of the company. Usually works closely with CHRO or even replaces him in some cases.
This list is not complete, it lists the main positions necessary for the smooth functioning of a large company. Also, in different companies, these positions may be called differently and even perform slightly different functions. What skills are a must for a capable C-level executive? If you try to highlight the most basic, then they include:
- leadership skills;
- critical thinking;
- crisis management;
- conflict management;
- skills for making important decisions.
Required skills may vary depending on the specific position. Having a strong sense of strategic thinking is one of the most important skills for C-level executives – after all, not only the future of the company, but also the future of hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of employees depends on the strategic decisions of top management.
There are also other levels of management:
- C-level executives or the “top management”.
- V-level managers such as VPs (Vise Presidents) and SVPs (Senior Vise Presidents).
- D-level managers. Or Derectors, for example Engineer Derector and so on. They answer to VPs or CEOs .
- First-line supervisors.
- Team leaders.
Some people think that VPs or Vice Presidents are higher than C-level executives but they’re not. They answer directly to their C-level executives and can command those who stay below them, for example D-level managers or supervisors.
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