What Is Higher Than A CEO In An Organization?

Written by Peter Keszegh

In big businesses, everyone plays a part in keeping the organization alive. The CEO is often seen as the head of the organization, making major decisions and leading everyone. 

But there are roles that stand even taller, who have equally important jobs within the company. You might be thinking: what's higher than a CEO? Here's your answer.

Woman in Gray Blazer Sitting by the Table

Chairman of the Board

The Chairman of the Board might not be involved in the daily grind and operations, but instead looks far ahead, making sure the company is moving in the right direction for the future.

The Chairman leads the board of directors, which sits down together to decide on big decisions, like choosing the CEO and setting the company's goals.

The Chairman also makes sure everyone on board is listened to, especially shareholders who've invested money in the organization, ensuring their interests are always protected.

This role is more about wisdom and guidance than day-to-day leadership. The Chairman and the CEO work closely, where the Chairman is making sure they're heading towards the right horizon.


Next, we have the President, who's more involved in the nitty-gritty of daily operations. They're making sure the company's projects are performing well and that everyone is doing their part.

In some organizations, the President is also training to be the next CEO, learning everything they can about leading the company. They work closely with every department, making sure everyone is working together smoothly.

The President is the bridge between the vision of the future and the work of today, turning big dreams into real plans that everyone can follow. They're there to support the CEO, offering a steady hand and a clear voice to guide the team.

Office Workers Sitting at the Desk and a Boss Standing near Them and Smiling

Vice President

The Vice Presidents are the leaders of the different departments. Each VP oversees a specific area, such as marketing or finance. They're experts in their crafts, knowing exactly how to get the best out of their teams and resources.

These leaders are responsible for bringing the company's plans to life, translating big ideas into day-to-day actions. They're in charge of solving problems, making sure their teams are productive, and reporting back on their progress. 

It's a role that requires both deep knowledge of their work and the ability to inspire and lead their teams.

Vice Presidents must be able to see how their team's work fits into the larger picture of the company. They work closely with the President to ensure that every part of the company is thriving and contributing to the common goal.


Directors are like a council of members who each bring their own wisdom and experience to the table. They're chosen by the shareholders to look out for the company's best interests. Directors advise on big decisions, like which markets to explore next or which companies they can partner with.

Their role is to ensure the company sticks to its values and goals, offering guidance and oversight. They're not involved in the day-to-day running of the company, but play a part in shaping its future.

Directors need to understand both the challenges and opportunities facing the company, using their knowledge to help steer the organization through both good times and bad.

Directors are the bridge between the company's present and its future, ensuring that decisions are made with wisdom and foresight. They work closely with both the Chairman and the CEO to maintain the organization's health and prosperity.

Owners or Board members (in privately-owned companies)

In privately-owned companies, the owners or board members are the founders or their descendants. These people have the final say in most things, from how the company is run to what new ventures to undertake.

They're deeply invested in the company's success, pouring their hearts, souls, and resources into making sure it thrives. Their vision shapes the organization's direction, and their commitment ensures it stays true to its founding principles.

Owners and board members are the roots of the company, providing stability and a sense of purpose. They remind everyone where the organization came from and where they're going, keeping them grounded and focused on its goals.

Group of Person Sitting Indoors

Key roles are what's higher than a CEO

Understanding the structure of a company is key in understanding what's higher than a CEO. Each position, from the Chairman of the Board down to the Vice Presidents, plays a vital part in the organization's health and success. 

It's a team effort, with everyone working together to figure out the challenges and opportunities that come their way.

So, next time you think of a CEO, remember they're just one part of a larger group. Each key role contributes to the company's journey in their unique way—it's this collective effort that keeps the organization thriving, moving forward towards a bright and prosperous future.

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