A CEO is the head of the company, a COO manages daily operations, and a CFO heads the finance department. But what does a CIO, CMO, CSO, CAO, and CHRO do?
Have you heard of a CEO? If you work in a private company, then you work under one. In that case, you’ve probably also heard the terms CFO and COO. But what about a CIO, CMO, CCO, or CAO? There are more than a dozen of such positions, which are collectively called CxOs. And if you’re planning on starting on opening a company, you might find some of these roles useful for your organization. So here’s everything you need to know about a CxO.
What is a CxO?
Before we answer this, we need to know another term — corporate title. A corporate title or a business title is one that’s given to organization and company officials to show what duties and responsibilities they have in companies like internet giants, small businesses, manufacturing companies, and even in a UK casino or variety of free roulette games. You can also find corporate titles in many non-profit organizations, educational institutions, sole proprietorships, and partnerships.
These titles are given to a company’s most important senior executives, those members that work together to ensure a company stays true its preset plans and policies. The titles, usually starting with the letter C for “Chief” and ending with the letter O for “Officer” are grouped together as C-suite or C-level executives. And since, today, there are so many variations of the C-level titles, they’re collectively referred to as CxOs.
Which CxO Titles Are There?
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – The CEO is invariably the highest-level corporate executive in a company, thus serving as the face of the organization. The CEO only report to the Board members of the organization and it’s their responsibility to make sure the company meets its goals in terms of both development and public image.
A CEO can come from any career background, but substantial leadership and decision-making skills are mandatory. Part of a CEO is to consult other C-level executives for advice on major decisions.
For example, Thanh (Bruce) Pham, who is the CEO of Saigon Technology, a offshore software development company in Vietnam, consults their CHRO in human resources matter, and consults their CIO on digital transformation matter.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – The CFO’s job is to control, report, and strategise finances for the company. They contribute to the overall organization strategy from a financial standpoint and work closely with CEOs to source new business opportunities while weighing the financial benefits and risks involved in each venture.
The CFO position also represents the top of a corporate ladder for anyone in the financial sector looking to move upward. Some skills necessary to acquire a CFO role are accounting, portfolio management, investment research, and financial analysis.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Usually second-in-command to the CEO, the COO is a C-level HR executive of the company. Their job is to ensure that the company’s day-to-day operations run as smoothly as possible. They usually oversee recruitment, training, payroll, legal, administrative services, customer segmentation, and production effectiveness.
Chief Information Officer (CIO) – The CIO is responsible for all the information and data related to the organization. They oversee the IT initiatives and digital systems that are required to scale up the organization in the information aspect.
A CIO usually start out as a business analyst and must have sound technical skills in disciplines such as coding, programming, mapping, and project management. They use these skills to risk management, finance management, and business strategy.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – A CTO is often confused with a CIO even though they have rather distinct jobs. Unlike a CIO, a CTO’s job is to adopt and manage technologies in a company. They keep an eye out for all the advanced technologies that can benefit their organization and stay ahead of the competition. In today’s rapidly changing age of digital globalization, the CTO’s role is becoming more and more important.
Other Common CxO Positions
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – Responsible for marketing, including sales management, product development, distribution channel management, marketing communications, pricing, market research, and customer service.
- Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) – Responsible for all aspects of human resource management and industrial relations.
- Chief Sales Officer (CSO) – Responsible for sales.
- Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) – Responsible for overseeing all accounting and bookkeeping functions, ensuring that financial statements, ledger accounts, and cost control systems are operating effectively.
- Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) – Responsible for managing intellectual capital and knowledge management.
- Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) – Responsible for innovation.
- Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) – Responsible for environmental/sustainability programs.
- Chief Legal Officer (CLO) – Responsible for overseeing and identifying legal issues in all departments and their interrelation.
- Chief Security Officer (CSO) – Responsible for security, including physical security, network security, and many other kinds.
- Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) – Responsible for data analysis and interpretation.