C-Level Executive

Last Updated: October 31, 2016

Definition - What does C-Level Executive mean?

A C-level executive is a high-ranking executive of a company in charge of making company-wide decisions. The "C" stands for "chief." Some best-known C-level executives include the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO) and chief information officer (CIO). Of all the C-level executives, the CIO has the most bearing in IT, as the CIO is responsible for all of the company's computer systems.

Techopedia explains C-Level Executive

C-level executives are essential to any modern business to provide leadership and make decisions that are the best for the company. Major C-level positions in U.S. companies include the chief executive officer (CEO), chief operating officer (COO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief information officer (CIO).

The CIO in American companies is the highest-level IT employee, reporting to the CEO, COO and CFO. The CIO is responsible for selecting hardware and software for an entire company as well as directing the workforce of an organization. Therefore, a CIO requires strong leadership skills as well as technical skills. Since all modern companies depend an IT, the CIO's role is extremely important.

Other C-level titles related to IT include the chief security officer (CSO), the chief technology officer (CTO) and the chief green officer (CGO).

The CSO is responsible for company-wide security policy, including computer security policies. The CTO oversees development of new technologies developed within the company rather then merely integrating existing technologies. The CGO is tasked with reducing a company's carbon footprint, which includes building energy-efficient data centers.

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