Updated: 2006-09-27 14:28

Chief Executive Officer - CEO

This is the senior manager who is responsible for overseeing the activities of an entire company.

The CEO usually also holds a position on the board of directors, or also holds the title of president.

Chief Financial Officer - CFO

This is the senior manager who is responsible for overseeing the financial activities of an entire company. This includes signing checks, monitoring cash flow, and financial planning.

The CFO is similar to a treasurer or controller.

Chief Operating Officer - COO

The senior manager who is responsible for managing the company's day-to-day operations and reporting them to the chief executive officer (CEO).

A company needs a chief operating officer (COO) because the CEO is usually too busy to monitor production quotas and other factors on a daily basis.

Chief Technical Officer - CTO

A chief technical officer or chief technology officer is a business executive position whose holder is focused on technical issues in a company. It emerged in the United States in the 1980s as a business-focused extension of the position of Director of R&D.

During the dot-com and computer boom of the 1990s, many companies used the CTO title for their main technical person. The MIS and IT community often use the title CTO as either synonymous with Chief Information Officer, or as a subordinate to the CIO who is more versed in the technical intricacies. The role of the CTO varies between companies and industries, but usually relates to technology. The roles include:

Long term technology direction (strategic)
Short term technology direction (tactical)
Business-focused oversight of R&D
Software used in the corporation

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