Difference Between President vs CEO

Difference Between President vs CEO

For an establishment to stay organized and functional, there needs to be some form of order guided by a body of authority, otherwise known as a hierarchy. This structure is such that every entity is a subordinate except for one.

In this post, we will be comparing CEO vs president, two positions of authority that are often misconstrued for one another. People that occupy these positions are charged with different lines of duties that determine the efficiency of the establishment in question. We will be focusing on their job description with the goal of pinpointing the differences between the two.

Definition of President

A president is defined as the leader of the board of executives of an organization charged with powering operations and implementing decisions of an establishment. He or she presides over every event that takes place in the company directly or indirectly.

The basic difference between CEO and president is that on a general scale of authority, the presiding personnel would usually come second in the line of command after the former. This means that he is answerable to a boss and is not expected to run the company based on his discretion entirely without the permission of the topmost authority.

The job description for a president depends on the nature of the establishment to a great extent. Aside from that, they are typically required to:

  • Make budgets, employ staff, and oversee operations
  • Take responsibility for implementing new decisions
  • Oversee meetings with the staff, take note of their viewpoints, and report to the appropriate authority
  • Hold meetings with the company’s executives and help in the decision-making process
  • Reviewing and authorizing income and expenditures
  • Building and maintaining a profitable relationship between the company and relevant communities, executives, and staff members

Definition of CEO

A CEO is defined as the highest-ranking officer in an organization with the responsibility of making major corporate decisions and being the public face of the organization. As the topmost officer of the company, he or she is usually involved in any operation geared towards the success of the company.

An interesting note, however, is that the chief executive officer is expected to be accountable to the board of executives despite being the highest among them. Some of his or her functions include the following:

  • Initiating new ideas to foster growth and expansion
  • Standing as the face of the establishment and communicating with the public on behalf of the organization
  • Spearheading the implementation of new policies for long and short-term benefits
  • Evaluating the standard of operation within and ensuring everything is on track and up to par
  • Keeping up with every development that may affect the company directly or indirectly, and acting appropriately for a successful outcome
  • Maintaining awareness of the industry’s competitions and development opportunities
  • Assessing, monitoring, and minimizing risks

Main Differences Between President vs CEO

Now that we have explained the meaning and functions of these positions in an organization, you may have understood the difference between president and CEO. That notwithstanding, we have put together the table below for a better understanding.

Basis of ComparisonPresidentCEO
DefinitionThe leader of the board of executives of an organization charged with powering operations and implementing decisions of an establishmentThe highest-ranking officer in an organization with the basic responsibility of making major corporate decisions and being the public face of the organization
AccountabilityCEO and board of executivesBoard of executives
Duration of officeShort term based on tenureLong terms, might even be a lifetime
Main focusProfit increaseWealth increase
DecisionImplements decisionsMakes the decisions

Difference Between President and CEO: Conclusion

Finally, in the CEO vs president discussion, success has the same effect but different meanings for the positions. If the latter is able to make profits from business, then that is good enough.

However, the former is quite concerned with making profit, but not as much as sustaining the existence of the establishment. Another way to put this is that the former is concerned with building the best legacy possible, but that is not the same with the latter whose perspective is focused on profitable performance.