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Chief Officer Abbreviations Decoded

What C-suite execs do
Credit: nd3000/Shutterstock

Have you dreamed about occupying a space in a corner office in your organization? C-suite jobs are reserved for the top executives and highest-paid individuals in the company. You've probably heard the abbreviations CEO, CFO, CIO, etc., but do you know what those individuals do?

These individuals usually have the most experience and the highest responsibilities within a company. They are also the key decision-makers in an organization. While the responsibilities and day-to-day duties of each executive vary from industry to industry, they generally have the same responsibilities.

Here's a breakdown of the chief officer abbreviations and their general tasks.

The chief executive officer is the highest-ranking person in a company, and they're responsible for the overall success of an organization. The specific day-to-day duties of a CEO vary from company to company.

However, they are the final decision-makers of an organization. "Specific duties vary depending on the industry and size of the company, but, generally, the CEO is the keeper of strategic vision, communicates the overall direction and manages key C-suite executives," said Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, president and CEO of Power Living Enterprises.

CEOs also are the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate operations. They also oversee and manage other C-suite executives.

Chief financial officers are senior executives who are responsible for a company's financial matters. They analyze a company's financial strengths and make recommendations to improve it. They also track cash flow and manage a company's financial planning, like investments and capital structure.

CFOs typically report to the CEO, but they have significant input in the company's investments and how it manages income and expenses.

The responsibilities and roles of chief information officers have evolved throughout the years. Now, CIOs develop strategies and computer systems, and are typically responsible for leading the IT staff and related assets, projects, and personnel. They're also responsible for predicting future computer technology trends so their company can stay ahead of the trends.

Chief information officers usually report to the CEO or another C-level executive.

The chief operating officers report to CEOs, and they oversee business operations within a company.

"The chief operating officer (COO) is the senior executive who manages the business operations of the company," said Kennedy. "The role can vary widely depending on the industry and size of the company. Generally, the COO is second in command and often serves to make sure the strategies laid out by the CEO are executed."

Chief marketing officers are the top executives responsible for leading an organization's marketing efforts. They manage the company's brand management, marketing research and consumer engagement.

"With the rise of social media and advancements in technology, the role also now often involves influencer relations, data analytics and mastering 'the voice of the customer,'" Kennedy said.

CMOs work with several different teams within the company, such as sales, public relations, and product development teams.

Saige Driver

Saige received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Telecommunications from Ball State University. She is the social media strategist for Business.com and Business News Daily. She also writes reviews and articles about social media. She loves reading and her beagle mix, Millie. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.