Difference Between CEO and President

CEO vs President

If you look around yourself at the companies, you will find various nomenclatures for posts being used for people inside management. All designations carry different sets of roles, functions, and responsibilities. Two such designations are CEO and President that are enough to confuse people as they cannot make out differences between the two. This article will highlight the roles and responsibilities of the two posts to remove all doubts.


A CEO is the highest ranking employee of a company and reports directly to the board of directors. Chief Executive Officer of a company has the responsibility of ensuring that the company is profitable and that the company is always steered in the direction of growth. He knows he will find favor of his bosses (the board of directors) only as long as he keeps raking in profits. CEO plays the role of a visionary for the company and rest of the employees look up to him because of his leadership abilities. In reality, he is the link between the board and other managers of various departments of the organization. CEO is the ship of the captain and oversees the performance of the managers and also devices strategies to help the company achieve its goals.


The President is always next in command to the CEO in the chain of management. The CEO puts the responsibility of running the operations of the company on the shoulders of the President. President it is who has to oversee day to day operations, sign the checks, and see the availability of raw materials and so on. While the CEO has to deal with the investors and media, it is the President who keeps the business running, doing all that the CEO asks him to do. He is the guy who actually runs the show under the guidance of CEO.

There are examples when a single person holds the titles of both CEO and President and then the responsibilities of the person nearly double up. But in many instances, people have taken up the challenge and run the company successfully.

In brief:

CEO vs President

• CEO is the interface between the board of directors and the mangers of different departments

• CEO is the highest ranked employee and the President is only 2nd in the chain of command

• While the CEO reports directly to the board, the President has a role to perform guided by CEO and thus reports to him

• While CEO has to rub shoulders with investors and other companies, it is the President who actually goes under the grind.