Difference Between President vs CEO

Difference Between President vs CEO

There are some terms that seem quite similar and hard to tell apart in a business setting. For an organization to run effectively, it needs to be spearheaded by a vision-driven person (or group of people as the case may be).

This person is the frontrunner and is in control of the wellbeing of the company and every member as far as the organization is concerned. But how do you refer to a person in such a position? Before you answer that question, you need to understand the difference between president and CEO.

In this piece, we will address this issue and take a look at the definitions of these terms and how exactly they differ from each other.

Definition of President

A president is the person who presides over the affairs of the organization and makes sure that a particular branch or division is functioning maximally and in line with an established strategy. In the hierarchy of the organization, this person is the second most senior officer after the Chief Executive Officer.

Here are some of the properties of this position you should be aware of.

  • Ensures the management of business activities and implementation of strategies in the best way possible.
  • He or she answers to one person, and that is the Chief Executive Officer of the organization.
  • Serves as a mediator between the members of the organization and the Chief Executive Officer in relaying information back and forth.
  • The perspective from this position is somewhat short-term and manages regular business operations and logistics on a daily basis.
  • Aims at maximizing the profits of the organization one day at a time.

Definition of CEO

A CEO is the highest-ranking official in an organization whose job is to keep the overall vision in sight, develop strategies to accomplish it, and provides the basic resources to ensure that the strategies are appropriately implemented on different levels. The acronym stands for Chief Executive Officer, and a person in this position answers to the BOD – Board of Directors.

Here are some of the peculiarities of a CEO:

  • Expected to brainstorm issues concerning the organization and develop strategies to tackle those issues effectively.
  • The direct boss of the president of the organization.
  • Works with a long-term perspective in view and tries to sell his perspective for effective implementation.
  • Aims at improving the value, wealth, and general profile of the organization in the long run for notable and measurable growth and sustainability.

Main Differences Between President vs CEO

Here is a table showing the most important difference between CEO and president. It highlights the difference in definition and the distinct variation in their job description in the most comprehensive way possible.

Basis of ComparisonPresidentCEO
DefinitionThe person who is in charge of every activity of an organization by presiding over the affairs of the organization and making sure that a particular branch or division is functioning maximally and in line with an established strategy The highest-ranking official in an organization whose job is to keep the overall vision in sight, develop strategies to accomplish it, and ensure that the strategies are appropriately implemented on different levels
HierarchySecond-highest officialTopmost official
AccountabilityChief Executive OfficerBoard of Directors
Main aimCreate profitCreate wealth, growth, and sustainability
Focus PerformanceLegacy
Time-frameShort-termLong-term
Basic functionStrategy implementationStrategy development

From this table, you can see that putting CEO vs president side by side, the descriptions vary quite a bit from the other. They may be similar in the sense that they are both high-ranking positions, but their job descriptions are entirely different.

Difference Between President and CEO: Conclusion

From what we have covered so far, the bottom line is that the latter is higher than the former in hierarchy. While the former is aimed at the growth and sustainability of the organization, the latter is concerned with making profits based on the established instruction.

When it comes to strategy, the manner of approach between a CEO vs president is different. While it is the duty of the former to create effective strategies, the latter ensures that those strategies are implemented in the most efficient way necessary.