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Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

A chief executive officer (CEO) is appointed by the board of directors as the top executive of a for-profit organization. The CEO—in partnership with the board, to which he or she reports—bears the ultimate responsibility for the management of the ordinary operations of the company, while the board typically oversees regulatory compliance, recruits board members, and plans succession. Historically, at least in the United States, it was not uncommon for the CEO to also hold the position of board chairperson, but in recent years, shareholders and activists have advocated for their separation to strengthen the board’s supervisory role.

Considering the ethical dimension of the CEO’s job requires examining at least three aspects: (1) the functions he or she needs to perform in order to attain the ...

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