Are you CEO material? What executives need to know about Chief Executive Officer jobs ​

Apple CEO Tim Cook once said that “companies that get confused, that think their goal is revenue or stock price or something. You have to focus on the things that lead to those.”

The sentiment of the Chief Executive Officer of the consumer tech giant is clear: make great products and everything else will follow. Apple expects to produce 84 million units of the new iPhone 15, the latest version of the world’s best selling smart phone, by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the value of the company just topped the $3 trillion mark.

Cook takes it all in stride since the 2011 death of company founder Steve Jobs, possessing all the traits necessary for CEO greatness: Clear, honest communication; business acumen; and a searing focus on creating the best products possible.

The Chief Executive Officer model he sets forth is worth emulating. Here’s what you need to know. 


In its simplest terms, the Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is the highest-ranking executive of a company and often reports to its Board of Directors. A Chief Financial Officer, or CFO, and Chief Operating Officer, or COO, often accompany the CEO to form the executive team. The Chief Executive Officer is the face of the company, who shares information both internally and externally about the health of the company, new product introductions, company initiatives and shareholder information. CEO jobs are available across many industries, including nonprofit CEO jobs, healthcare CEO jobs and many others. If not an original founder of a company, most CEOs are hired by the company board of directors after being groomed internally or vetted by executive recruiters before being presented to the board of directors.


While it varies by company and industry, there are a few common duties, roles and responsibilities provided by company CEOs. These are important as you pursue Chief Executive Officer jobs.

  • Responsible for setting strategy for the company, including product or service differentiation and addressing market conditions.
  • Responsible for all company operations, including allocation of resources and personnel.
  • Provide direction, motivation and incentives for upper management to execute strategy.
  • Communicate company priorities and initiatives, including DEI and ESG, and leading by example.
  • Being the figurehead and top spokesperson for the company.
  • Identify and address problems or potential problems based on market conditions or internal issues.
  • Take responsibility for the overall fiscal and cultural health of the company.


Unless a CEO is a company founder, nearly all CEOs or those seeking Chief Executive Officer positions have attended a four-year university, and most have acquired advanced degrees like an MBA and/or attended specialized training such as a CEO boot camp. Most have a least of decade or more of relevant industry experience with a focus on the business, engineering, sales or legal aspects of the company or industry. Some seeking CEO jobs are long-time employees, others are brought to the attention of the board of directors by an executive recruiter.

Salaries range from, at the lower end, about $120,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to eight-figures or more with performance bonuses. CEO Cook, as head of the most valuable company on the planet, took home nearly $100 million in 2021, according to shareholder reports.

Are you ready for a Chief Executive Officer position? Contact a Recruiter today and start the process of finding your ideal CEO job.

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