5 C-suite titles business students need to know

Limestone College Business

If you are earning a bachelor of business administration degree, you might one day aspire for a position in a company’s C-suite — a term in which “C” comes from the word chief — used to describe the most senior team in charge of running an organization.

Today, there are a number of C-suite positions and both business and non-business students may find it useful to become familiar with what these abbreviations stand for and most importantly, what responsibilities they include.

Here are short descriptions of some of the more common C-suite titles used today.

 CEO – Chief Executive Officer

A Chief Executive Officer is the organization’s leader who is responsible for the organization’s performance and ultimately its success. As the head of an organization, the CEO hires other C-suite executives and together, they work to develop and implement a company’s long-term strategy. CEO salaries can vary greatly depending on the type and size of an organization. According to PayScale.com, the median CEO salary in 2016 was roughly $160,000.

 CMO – Chief Marketing Officer

A Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for overseeing and implementing a company’s marketing and sales strategy. CMO’s purview may cover advertising, branding, market research, communications, PR, website analytics and more. Typically, a CMO is also responsible for managing his/her team and as such oversees the hiring for the marketing department. Today, CMO’s salaries range between $80,000 and $250,000.

 CFO – Chief Financial Officer

A Chief Financial Officer is responsible for financial and accounting functions of a company. Their work provides a clear insight into the company’s financial health and helps ensure that the company complies with relevant laws and policies. CFOs may prepare or oversee preparation of budgets, financial statements, and financial forecasts.

A median salary of a CFO is about $122,000.

 COO – Chief Operating Officer

A Chief Operating Officer works to ensure smooth operations across the organization. This may include developing standards, processes and directives for the company, including managing personnel as well as reviewing various performance metrics to ensure quality and efficiency. Due to the universal nature of their role, COOs work very closely with CEOs and as such are normally considered second in the chain of command. A median salary of a COO is $136,000.

CIO – Chief Information Officer

A Chief Information Officer is responsible for an organization’s information systems, a network of hardware and software that the organization uses to manage data. A CIO may also collaborate with other executives and department heads on how to leverage technology to improve various functions. A median salary of a CIO is $150,000.

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