Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa
In my opinion, the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer have different needs and responsibilities that can, at times, be at odds.
The Chairman of the Board is the chief representative of the business stakeholders and his function includes:
1. Determining the direction and general focus of the business;
2. Defining business policy and scope of action.
The Chief Executive Officer is responsible to the Board for:
1. Implementing the policy as defined by the Board;
2. Ensuring the health and welfare of the business.
Simplistically, The Chairman of the Board equates to the Captain of a ship, while the CEO is represented by the First Mate/Executive Officer (depending on the side of the Atlantic you inhabit)
Personally, I believe both posts should be filled by different people, unless the candidate is exceptional. As a team, they should be indomitable as they feed off each other. Both persons work for the Board, but the CEO also represents the staff employed.