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The highest level in senior management generally has titles that begin with “Chief”.  The “C Suite” is known as the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), the CFO (Chief Financial Officer and the COO (Chief Operating Officer).

There are a lot of top leader positions that have been recognized more recently CIO, CTO, CMO,  etc. 

  • CEO – Chief Executive Officer is the highest ranking corporate officer. They report to the Board of Directors and make the high level decisions about policy and company strategy.  Generally all others report to the CEO.
  • COO –Chief Operating Officer – This person is responsible for the day to day operations or an organization.  Not all companies have one.   This person may also be called the company’s President.  This person could be thought of as the second in command behind the Chairman or CEO.
  • CFO – Chief Financial Officer –This person manages the corporation’s financial risks.  They deal with data analysis, financial planning and record keeping.  Although they report to the CEO, they may also sit on the board of directors.
  • CMO – Chief Marketing Officer –This person is the head of sales, product development and all things marketing-related.  The CMO can report to either the CEO or COO. Their job is to obtain growth through sales and marketing.
  • CIO – Chief Information Officer– This person is the head of information technology amd is the company’s top technology infrastructure manager.  They  run the organizations internal IT operations and may report to the CEO, CFO or COO.  They must create strategic goals to increase information accessibility and manage integrated systems.  The CIO and CTO roles are often confused.
  • CTO - Chief Technology Officer – This person serves as the company's top technology architect and runs the organization's engineering group. They Use technology to enhance the company's product offerings and focus on external customers (buyers).


There may be other chief officers’ positions in other industries as well.  For example in hospitals there could be a CMO (Chief Medical Officer), a CNO (Chief Nursing Officer) and a CMIO (Chief Medical Informatics Officer).