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CEO Job Description (+ Template and Three Examples)

October 15, 2018

It’s hard to imagine a company without a chief executive officer, isn’t it?

If there’s no standing CEO, who’s calling the shots? Establishing the company vision? Or basically, you know, leading the company?

Believe it or not, companies find themselves in this position quite a bit. Maybe it’s time for their current CEO to retire, or a co-founder who had been serving as CEO decides to pursue another leadership role. Maybe (but hopefully not), the CEO had a bit of a PR crisis and was asked to step down. No matter how it happens, sometimes your company will find itself seeking a new fearless leader.

If this time comes, writing the job description can be especially trying. How, exactly, do you identify the responsibilities of the person responsible for, well, everything?

It’s not easy – luckily, we’re here to help with our CEO job description. But, before we get there, let’s take a moment to cover the responsibilities of your typical chief executive officer.

Your CEO, sometimes referred to as the company president, is the highest-ranking executive member of an organization. That means they’ll have eyes on everything, including day-to-day operations like purchasing software tools and employee reviews, as well as high-level tasks like determining annual budgets, establishing company culture, and more.

Because your chief executive officer will take on so many responsibilities, the job description itself is critical. This isn’t a simple hire by any means. Not only will you be taking a risk by hiring them (it’s a lot of time and money spent), but they’ll also be taking an equal risk on your company!

That’s why ensuring your job description clearly communicates expectations is critical. Missing out on key points or failing to be explicit in your requirements may lead to incomplete expectations from both your hiring team and the candidate.

That’s why we’ve compiled this basic CEO job description for you. When it comes time to seek out this essential new employee, the following description and three industry examples can be a helpful starting point.

Keep in mind that due to the seniority and responsibilities of an executive position, you’ll likely beef it up with company-specific responsibilities and desired requirements.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Job Description

Title: Chief Executive Officer

Location: Chicago

With more than 400 percent growth since 2015, ACME Corporations is North America’s leading energy provider, with the single largest retail customer base nationwide. Since its founding in 2007, ACME Corporations has strived to meet the highest standards of energy delivery, customer service, and cost efficiency. Our mission is to be the top-tier energy provider while fostering a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive workplace.

ACME Corporations is looking to hire an experienced Chief Executive Officer to oversee the executive team and manage ACME’s day-to-day operations. This individual should have a successful track record of building and scaling a company, establishing company culture, and providing leadership to fellow executives. The ideal candidate has significant expertise in high-level decision making, fostering relationships with key stakeholders, and building senior management teams, and is personable and an industry thought-leader.

Responsibilities:
  • Provide leadership to the executive team and company-wide
  • Oversee company development and ACME Corporation’s public image
  • Develop ACME’s overall strategy and vision on a quarterly and annual basis
  • Serve as ACME’s primary spokesperson
  • Work closely with and report to the board of directors; foster relationships with board members and consistently maintain communication
  • Work with the chief financial officer to oversee fiscal activity
  • Collaborate with chief people officer to establish and maintain company culture
  • Build and lead the senior executive team; work with HR to establish hiring best practices to ensure great hiring company wide
  • Spearhead high-level decision making and strategic planning
  • Oversee ACME Corporation’s day-to-day operations
Requirements:
  • Bachelor’s or Master degree in relevant discipline; MBA preferred
  • 8-10 plus years experience in senior management or executive positions in various businesses and industries
  • Experience in product management or senior marketing role a plus
  • Proven track record in building and scaling organizations
  • Deep understanding of leadership best practices, human resources, and general finance and budgeting
  • Works well under pressure, can handle and delegate workload effectively
  • Ability to build and foster relationships with fellow executive team members, board members, and ACME’s key stakeholders
  • Ability to lead by example and inspire confidence

CEO Job Description Examples

To see how real employers are writing their CEO job descriptions, check out the examples below!


Arrowroot Capital

CEO

San Francisco, California

Job Summary:

Arrowroot Capital, a global growth equity firm, is looking for a growth-stage CEO to lead one of our portfolio companies towards an exit. The ideal candidate will have 10+ years’ experience growing revenue ($50M +) and profit in a B2B Enterprise SaaS company; in a founder led organization.

Reporting to the BOD, you will have overall responsibility for creating, planning, implementing and integrating the strategic direction of the organization including responsibility for all departments of the business. You will ensure that the organization's leadership maintains constant awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, and new industry developments. Additionally, you will assess potential acquisitions, focus on new business development, participate in industry-related events or associations, and lead the team and company towards a successful exit.

Responsibilities and Duties:
  • Responsible for the organization’s day-to-day activities, including revenue and sales growth; expense, cost and margin control; and monthly, quarterly and annual financial goal attainment.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of reporting executives and staff managers.
  • Ability to selectively invest in growth areas.
  • Demonstrate successful execution of business strategies for company products and services.
  • Direct and participate in acquisition and growth activities to support overall business objectives and plans.
  • Build expert-level understanding of the vertical and develop strategies to maintain and grow our leadership position.
  • Monitor, measure, and report on operational issues, opportunities, and development plans against company objectives.
Qualifications:
  • Executive should have directly managed P&L operations in a SaaS business, of at least $50 million.
  • Resume must clearly show operational P&L information in a SaaS business.
  • Must be a current operational executive (CEO, President, GM, MD, etc.), with multiple stints as a CEO
  • Significant full P&L ownership, with 15+ years' senior leadership experience; at least 10+ years as a CEO in a SaaS company
  • A history of successful revenue growth
  • Ability to build a strong management team.
  • Significant experience with both buy and sell-side transactions
  • Prior experience, working with a product-led founder company
  • Only candidates with a history of successful exits in SaaS will be considered
  • Bachelors degree; MBA a plus
Compensation:

Compensation is competitive with the position’s requirements. In a performance-based environment, this will include base salary, bonus structure based on corporate qualitative and quantitative strategic KPIs, and a significant stakeholder position in the Company.

Arrowroot Capital:

The search is being conducted by Arrowroot Capital. Arrowroot Capital is a global growth equity firm based in Santa Monica, CA focused on minority, majority, and buyout investments in B2B software companies. Company info can be found at www.arrowrootcapital.com

Arrowroot Capital is not working with external agencies currently; any unsolicited resumes or information from agencies or recruiters shall become the property of Arrowroot Capital.

Company Overview:

Arrowroot Capital is a global growth equity firm based in Santa Monica, CA focused on minority, majority, and buyout investments in B2B software companies. The firm serves as a catalyst for growth-related initiatives by partnering with management and leveraging its deep enterprise software expertise to deliver meaningful, tangible value. Arrowroot targets initial equity investments in the range of $5 million to $25 million and has the flexibility to pursue larger opportunities as well as a broad range of transaction types. Arrowroot also targets add-on acquisitions for its portfolio companies with a wider range of size and general criteria.


United Way of the Quad Cities Area

President and CEO

Bettendorf, IA

The United Way of the Quad Cities Area, a bi-state community of 325,000 residents in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, seeks an inspirational, strategic and operational leader to galvanize community support for its mission to improve lives in the community. The successful candidate will provide leadership of the United Way and serve as a convener and collaborator with other nonprofit, civic, community and business groups to achieve positive community impact. As the leader of a major community organization, the CEO will engage effectively with other community leaders and donors to address community priorities and to help advance the community’s collective agenda, including its Q2030 regional vision of building a cool, creative, connected and prosperous community.

Position Summary:

Provides inspirational, strategic and operational leadership for the United Way of the Quad Cities Area in pursuit of its mission: to mobilize people and resources to improve the lives in the community. Serves as a key leader in the nonprofit community, and engages with and builds strong relationships with community leaders in the nonprofit, civic and business sectors. Serves as a champion for philanthropy and volunteerism in the community, and effectively leads fundraising for the United Way and its funded agencies.

Education/Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree or certifications preferred.
  • Ten years of management experience required, including supervision of professional staff, with a minimum five years at a senior-level management position.
  • Demonstrated trail of successful leadership in the nonprofit or profit sector, including demonstrated success in change management.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated success in community leadership, including leadership of or involvement in the nonprofit human services sector.
  • Experience in working for or service on a board of directors for a nonprofit organization.
  • Demonstrated commitment to philanthropy and community development initiatives.
  • Commitment to diversity and experience working with diverse communities and audiences.
Knowledge and Abilities:
  • Excellent communicator
  • An inspirational and positive presence and leader
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills
  • Excellent in collaborating with community entities to accomplish community impact
  • Strong fundraising experience and results
  • Effective in working with the business community
  • Effective in working with diverse communities
  • Strong record of community engagement both professionally and as a volunteer
  • Effective in engaging a board of directors in the work of the organization
Salary

Competitive salary and benefits


Welcome America, Inc.

President and CEO

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Welcome America, Inc. is a 501c3, non-profit organization engaged in a public-private partnership with the City of Philadelphia. Welcome America, Inc.’s mission is to promote American history, education and Philadelphia. The organization seeks to enhance the resident and visitor experience through city-wide signature events including the Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July celebration and the Philly Holiday Festival. All events are free to the public with the goal to enhance the city’s image, improve the resident experience, attract visitors, provide an economic boost to the local economy, and boost civic pride. Welcome America, Inc. produces and assists in the growth of select city events year-round to increase awareness of Philadelphia as an event destination.

Welcome America is seeking a dynamic results driven President and CEO to provide strong leadership to the organization and who has a passion for the City of Philadelphia, its residents and visitors. This is a hands-on position who is curious and feels comfortable both relying on others for expertise while asking smart questions. The CEO must be able to bring people together and build effective and diverse teams who can help drive success. No job to big or too small in the context of getting the job done.

The position is responsible for managing an annual budget of close to $3 million and an annual staff of six, however headcount that can expand to 100 seasonal team members to support Welcome America, Inc. events. Approximately 60% of the budget is raised through private sources and corporate sponsorships and we are proud that administrative costs are less than 18%. Welcome America, Inc. has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. The organization has achieved an average 40-50% minority participation rate in discretionary contracting, hiring, and staffing.

Non-profit Organizational Management
  • An understanding of non-profit governance and experience working for a highly experienced and influential board of directors chaired by Mayor Jim Kenney.
  • Primary fiduciary responsibility for organizational activities including: revenue and cash flow, budgeting, banking relationships, and cost containment. Must have non-profit finance experience including 990s, audit, budgeting and insurances.
  • Relevant experience managing large-scale outdoor events on strict timelines.
  • Ability to define key metrics to assess the effectiveness of the programs; attendee satisfaction, and other success indicators for sponsors, stakeholders & governance.
Fundraising & Communications
  • Manage sponsorship activities to raise $2.3-$3 million annually from government, corporate, and other sources. Ability to identify new revenue streams.
  • Serve as the organization’s main spokesperson with media and other external stakeholders and to direct crisis communications.
  • Oversee the marketing and communications plan and direct communications including website development and social media strategy.
Experience & Competencies
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Five or more years senior non-profit management experience
  • Experience with managing large scale events
  • A very strong work ethic, hands-on orientation and great attention to detail.
  • Entrepreneurial aptitude and strong people skills; self-motivated with strong business acumen and the ability to generate innovative ideas; expert negotiator & project manager; someone who can deliver on-time results even when resources are limited.
  • Demonstrated achievement in partnership development and fundraising with an ability to create champions to support Welcome America, Inc. events.
  • The highest integrity and character due to the high visibility and responsibility associated with this organization and this position.
  • Understanding of diverse communities; a confident, respected leader, and proven people manager who can gain the confidence of the Board of Welcome America, Inc., its employees, and key partners.
  • Knowledge of music and entertainment events; of outdoor food and beverage and vending operations, and working with global artists and booking agents.
  • Comfortable wearing many hats and desiring to learn all aspects of the business. The best candidate is curious, relies on others for expertise while asking smart questions, brings people together, and builds teams who are all a part of the success of the program.
Compensation & Benefits
  • A competitive salary, exceptional health care benefits including dental, and retirement benefit package with vested match is offered. Parking permit is also available. A Competitive Paid Time Off program and a flexible work schedule are also part of the compensation package.

Welcome America, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status.

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