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What is the role of the Managing Director?

31 May 2017

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. This factsheet covers the responsibilities of the role.


Main purpose of job

To direct and control the company’s operations and to give strategic guidance and direction to the board to ensure that the company achieves its mission and objectives.


Main responsibilities

  • Direct and control the work and resources of the company and ensure the recruitment and retention of the required numbers and types of well-motivated, trained and developed staff to ensure that it achieves its mission and objectives.
  • Prepare a corporate plan and annual business plan and monitor progress against these plans to ensure that the company attains its objectives as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • Provide strategic advice and guidance to the chairman and members of the board, to keep them aware of developments within the industry and ensure that the appropriate policies are developed to meet the company’s mission and objectives and to comply with all relevant statutory and other regulations.
  • Establish and maintain effective formal and informal links with major customers, relevant government departments and agencies, local authorities, key decision-makers and other stakeholders generally, to exchange information and views and to ensure that the company is providing the appropriate range and quality of services.
  • Develop and maintain research and development programmes to ensure that the company remains at the forefront in the industry, applies the most cost-effective methods and approaches, provides leading-edge products and services and retains its competitive edge.
  • Prepare, gain acceptance, and monitor the implementation of the annual budget to ensure that budget targets are met, that revenue flows are maximised and that fixed costs are minimised.
  • Develop and maintain an effective marketing and public relations strategy to promote the products, services and image of the company in the wider community.
  • Represent the company in negotiations with customers, suppliers, government departments and other key contacts to secure for it the most effective contract terms.
  • Develop and maintain Total Quality Management systems throughout the company to ensure that the best possible products and services are provided to customers.
  • Develop, promote and direct the implementation of equal opportunities policies in all aspects of the company’s work.
  • Oversee the preparation of the annual report and accounts of the company and ensure their approval by the board.
  • Develop and direct the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that the company complies with all health and safety and other statutory regulations.

Knowledge, skills and experience required

The job requires:

  • A proven record of success in senior level general or commercial management, preferably in a related industry.  
  • At least 10 years’ senior level experience of management of people and resources.
  • Graduate level of intellect preferably with a higher degree in a management discipline or a professional qualification.
  • A wide knowledge of the industry.
  • An understanding of financial management and wider management principles and techniques.
  • Political and presentational skills with an appreciation of the demands of conflicting interests and of meeting statutory requirements.
  • A very high level of commercial awareness.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

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