As businesses evolve, a need for refined C-suite positions arises. Traditionally, a business would only require a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. However, that is no longer the case as business operations become more complex and market conditions constantly change.
Each of these facets requires a certain level of expertise to propel a business forward. It begs the question: how many C-suite positions does your business need? Well, that depends on the size of your business, your goals, and the industry you’re in. Although, we can narrow it down to six C-suite positions that cut across the board.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
The CEO is the highest-ranking C-level position and acts as the face and leader of a company. A CEO is responsible for managing the business and its resources. In addition, they act as a liaison between the board of directors and the executives. Their primary objective is to ensure the business remains operational and profitable for the board and shareholders.
While CEO roles have been glamorized in the media, the position is often demanding. They’re responsible for crucial high-level decisions that impact a business’s trajectory and managing a large workforce that comes with its challenges. They also bear the brunt of any public scrutiny the company faces.
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Chief Operating Officer (COO)
COOs go second in the chain of command. They’re responsible for the daily operations of a business. While a CEO forms a long-term strategy, the COO is responsible for implementing the business plan to achieve short-term goals. In short, the COO works in line with the CEO to realize company objectives.
COOs need to possess strong leadership, managerial, communication, and decision-making skills. They are often tasked with devising new strategies, delegating tasks, meeting objectives, and handling internal affairs. In most cases, they also groom a company’s next CEO or vet an incoming one to ensure they are suitable for the task.
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Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
A CFO is third in command and in charge of managing a company’s finances. Such specialists are responsible for financial planning, managing financial risks, tracking cash flow, and financial reporting. They also handle taxation and negotiations as well as give recommendations on how to invest company funds.
Successful CFOs possess strong problem-solving abilities, strategic thinking, leadership, and cash management skills. Additionally, they also have strong work ethics and are highly reliable.
Chief Experience Officer (CXO)
We often hear about CEOs, COOs, and even CFOs, but have you ever heard of a CXO? A CXO is responsible for improving customer experiences with the company’s products or services. The role is centered around differentiating the company from its competitors.
With so many companies producing and offering the same services and products, it’s important to ask yourself why customers should be loyal to you. What makes your business different? That’s where a CXO comes in. They focus on making a customer’s experience as pleasurable as possible.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
A CTO is in charge of managing all the technology in a company. However, this doesn’t mean their only job is to oversee the IT department. A CTO is responsible for the research and development teams that are constantly working to keep the company’s technology up-to-date. Additionally, they’re responsible for coming up with technical policies.
They must know how to communicate the company’s technical goals to non-technical employees. A CTO should also coordinate with other C-Level officers to integrate technology into various sectors of the company. The roles of a CTO often intersect with those of a Chief Information Officer (CIO), which we will discuss next.
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
A CIO’s main role is to create and implement a company’s technology strategy. That said, it’s no wonder this position is often merged with that of a CTO. However, there are a few distinctions between the two positions.
- A CIO is headed by the CEO, while a CIO heads a CTO.
- A CIO focuses on internal customers, while a CTO focuses on growing the
- A CIO serves as a link between the IT sector and other business stakeholders.
- A CIO monitors the cost of the company’s IT resources and the department’s performance; a CTO monitors productivity.
As business processes become more diversified due to changing times, so will C-level positions. New ones will arise as the over-reliance on the traditional roles fade. Each organization will pick what works for them and forego the roles that don’t fit their mission.
Having a clear understanding of what C-level positions are available will help you make an informed decision. In doing so, you’ll create an organizational structure suitable for achieving company objectives and driving success.