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  1. #1
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    Business terms in the US

    I'm just after a bit of info here as I'm not too familiar with the exact meanings of some international business definitions:

    CEO - Chief Executive Officer? Does this mean anything inparticular, eg is it something like the US equivalent of Managing Director?

    Also, in the UK a 'business' is not the same thing as a 'company'. Is this the same in the US?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
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    It is similar to managing director. Basicly a way to look at it, is the CEO overlooks the whole company, and the Board of Directors looks over the CEO.
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  3. #3
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    I've always thought of a business and company as the same thing.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by davidb
    It is similar to managing director. Basicly a way to look at it, is the CEO overlooks the whole company, and the Board of Directors looks over the CEO.
    Well that sounds more like the Chairman to me.

    Simon

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by DoobyWho
    I've always thought of a business and company as the same thing.
    Got to agree with you on that one...no idea what business school this idea has come from.

    Simon

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by SimonMc


    Well that sounds more like the Chairman to me.

    Simon
    And I with you on this one.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by SimonMc

    no idea what business school this idea has come from.
    So that answers question 2 then.... in the US a 'business' is the same thing as a 'company'.

    Onto the CEO bit: basically, I see an awful lot of CEO's on this board and wondered whether it meant anything inparticular or does it mean 'business owner' or something?
    Last edited by Jim_UK; 08-11-2002 at 07:53 PM.
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  8. #8

    CEO, etc -

    In the US, corporations are managed day-to-day by people called "officers". Officers are hired & fired by the boards of directors; boards frequently have a chairperson.

    The Chief Executive Officer is at the top of the decision-making tree for a corporation; they may be assisted by a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Technical Officer, and so forth. Generally, an "officer" has the authority to commit the company to a course of action and to act on its behalf; and are responsible legally to the shareholders and others for the management of the corporation.

    Being CEO is like being captain of a ship - the interesting question is, "How big is the ship?" In most cases, the ships around here aren't very big.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for that explanation gbroiles

    So a CEO can only be part of a Corp or can, for example, the owner of a Sole Proprietorship also call themself the CEO?
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  10. #10
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    Yes, a business is pretty much the same as a company.
    The CEO can also be the owner or vice versa.
    After all, is not the owner the top decision maker?

    In the case of a corp, the CEO is hired or appointed.
    Because the shareholders are part owners in a sense, the CEO in that case doesn't have the power that a CEO of a small business has.
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  11. #11
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    Since we are on this subject, are all these the same:

    1. CEO
    2. President
    3. Chairman

    or a company can have all of these 3 ?

  12. #12

    more

    Well, to be very literal, a sole proprietorship or partnership can't have "officers", so it's not strictly correct to say that one is the CEO of such an organization. Legally speaking, in the US, a sole proprietorship is indistinguishable from its owner.

    But it's pretty common for people to say "CEO" instead of "owner", because it sounds more distinguished.

    CEO, President, and Chairman are three different things - it's possible (but not especially common) for really big companies to have one or more presidents (usually of different divisions), but generally only one CEO. "Chairman" is short for "Chairman of the Board of Directors", which is the organizational group which selects and oversees the performance of the officers (who, in turn, select and oversee the performance of the employees). The Board of Directors is elected by a vote of the shareholders.

    So, it's easily possible for one person to form a corporation (and thereby hold all of the shares), and use that voting power to elect himself to the Board and as the Board's chair - then to appoint himself as CEO and/or President, thereby rolling many things up into one.

  13. #13
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    Thanks again gbroiles for clearing that up

    The reason I was wondering was because I thought that a CEO may have been the US equiv for the Managing Director in the UK and therefore had a different meaning to the owner of a sole proprietorship for example.

    Thanks again
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