The role of the Managing Director


9 March 2015

The managing director/chief executive is the most senior full-time executive of the company (except when there is an executive chairman). The role of managing director and chief executive are virtually the same. (The latter title originally comes from the US.)

The managing director/chief executive is responsible for the performance of the company, as dictated by the board’s overall strategy. He or she reports to the chairman or board of directors.

Responsibilities include:

  • formulating and successfully implementing company policy;
  • directing strategy towards the profitable growth and operation of the company;
  • developing strategic operating plans that reflect the longer-term objectives and priorities established by the board;
  • maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the chairman of the board;
  • putting in place adequate operational planning and financial control systems;
  • ensuring that the operating objectives and standards of performance are not only understood but owned by the management and other employees;
  • closely monitoring the operating and financial results against plans and budgets;
  • taking remedial action where necessary and informing the board of significant changes;
  • maintaining the operational performance of the company;
  • monitoring the actions of the functional board directors;
  • assuming full accountability to the board for all company operations;
  • representing the company to major customers and professional associations;
  • building and maintaining an effective executive team.

© Institute of Directors. All rights reserved. The information in this guidance is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The IoD does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from relying on information contained in this article. It is not a substitute for legal advice and specific and personal legal advice should be taken on any individual matter. IoD does not recommend any firms. The IoD is not accountable for the products, services, acts or omissions on the website(s) linked to this page. Terms & Conditions apply.

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