According to abbreviationfinder, the American term CEO is the abbreviation for chief executive officer. In Great Britain, the term Managing Director is more common. In Germany, the head of the company is usually referred to as the chairman of the board, especially in listed companies, and as the managing director in other companies. The chairman of the board or CEO is the head of the board of directors (in the USA: the executive committee). The board consists of several other members who are responsible for different areas of responsibility such as finance, sales or production. The chairman sets the company’s strategic direction. He is also the company’s top external representative. In a way, the CEO is the “face” of the company and bears overall responsibility.
Employment and Income
The CEO is usually an employee and not the owner of the company. He is appointed and dismissed by a supervisory body. In the USA this is the board of directors with the chairman of the board, in Germany the supervisory board (link to the corresponding article), which is headed by the chairman of the supervisory board. The CEO is accountable to the board of directors. For key decisions, such as the purchase of another company or the construction of a large new production site, he also needs the approval of this supervisory body. The supervisory board, which in Germany includes employer representatives as well as employee representatives, also determines the duration of the contract and the salary of the CEO. In the USA, in Germany and most other countries, the CEO or chairman of the board and chairman of the board or chairman of the supervisory board are not identical. In France, on the other hand, these two functions are often performed by one and the same person. The incomes of CEOs vary greatly. In addition to a fixed salary, they often contain variable components that are based on the achievement of certain goals or are based on the share price. In addition, the CEOs often receive stock options and pension entitlements. In terms of income, the spectrum ranges from a few 100,000 euros to amounts in the high millions. In the USA, incomes are generally significantly higher than in Germany, for example.