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The World Law Dictionary Project

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e.g. principle, consideration, jurisdiction
# a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

chief executive officer (CEO) noun


the person with the most important position in a company and who has overall responsibility for the way that the company is run
The CEO reports only to the board of directors. The rest of the company reports to him.

Hello everyone and welcome to TransLegal's lesson of the week. My name is Greg as you know from some of my previous lessons and I want to thank, first up I want to give a shout out to all my fan club, all my fans who have been sending in letters and demanding to see more of me on this website. Rest assured we received your letters and we hear you and that's why I'm here today and there is plenty of room in the fan club if anyone else wants to join up. To be honest right now it consists mostly of my parents, myself and actually that's about it so if anyone else wants to join leave a comment in the section below once we're done. Today, the lesson of the week deals with what you call the highest ranking corporate officer in a company or an organisation, the top dog, in a particular company or organisation or corporation and as you see here on the board behind me, there really are two primary titles or names given to these individuals and that's either the CEO which standards for the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director. As we've seen in some of our other lessons, Legal English consists of kind of two subsets – one is British English, British Legal English, and the other is American Legal English and this is an area where there is a distinction. Most US companies will call the top or highest ranking corporate officer the Chief Executive Officer or the CEO, whereas in the UK Managing Director is the preferred designation. There is some overlap of course, some British companies which are now using CEO and vice versa, but at least traditionally these were the two titles for each region. Now, as you know, either the CEO or the Managing Director typically reports to the Board of Directors and Board of Directors is another designation that has slight, subtle differences with respect to capitalisation in the US and the UK. Typically, in the UK the board of directors is all lowercase as I did here, whereas in the US we typically would write it with a capital B and a capital D. Minor distinctions of course but they're the questions we get asked a lot so I thought we'd point out the difference there. One final thing when it comes to CEO or Managing Director, this is another question we recently got here at TransLegal, and that is what is an acting CEO? And if you see this before the title of a corporate office, an acting CEO or acting whatever, could be acting secretary or what have you, this generally means that it is an officer that's working in an intern capacity, temporarily. It signifies that they have not yet or will not become the permanent position holder. So if someone is the acting CEO they do have all the powers of the CEO for that time period and can act just as any other CEO would be able to but it means that they have not yet assumed the position of permanent CEO. They may or may not assume that position in the future. Generally it happens when, in the interim, when a CEO has stepped down, resigned or been removed and somebody else has to temporarily act in his or her place. So hopefully that clears this up. Again, these are questions that we get a lot here at TransLegal. So if you have any other questions you can leave them in the space provided below. Again my name is Greg and thanks for listening.

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