A position as the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company -- big or small -- requires a sharp business acumen, one that allows you to understand all facets of the company. The responsibility of this job is great and the failures public, as the CEO is generally the face of the company and the one to whom fingers point when things go poorly. However, there are also numerous advantages to this position. From perks to pay, CEOs enjoy these advantages with varying degrees of accessibility; some get planes and millions of dollars in bonuses, while others simply enjoy access to company stock options.
CEOs generally have salaries that are the -- or among the -- highest in the company that they lead. Even after the U.S. financial collapse that began in 2008, CEOs still enjoyed high salaries, despite public backlash. In fact, according to The Corporate Library, monies received for annual compensation for CEOs rose in 2009 to an average of $1.1 million per year. This number includes an original salary, bonuses, incentive pay and other forms of compensation to contribute to annual pay.
As the CEO, you retain certain decision-making capabilities that allow you to influence the direction of the company. Of course, this is dependent on the type of company for which you work and its bylaws. Some CEOs have more power than others, as some must answer to and make decisions with a board of directors, while others have complete autonomy within the decision-making process. However, the opinion of the CEO is a valued one and is generally heavily accounted for when making major decisions.
CEOs of companies around the country had to contend with public backlash during the economic decline of 2008 and 2009, and many perks were exposed during this time. This included private planes, costly security details, country club memberships, personal travel, and luxury cars and drivers. However, according to CNN, perks for CEOs overall were much less prevalent in 2009.
A position as CEO of a company automatically provides you with prestige and clout among other employees. This may translate into a more valued opinion on projects or the opportunity to advise or mentor another colleague. This allows you to leave an impression on various areas of the company other than just within the managerial chain.
Being the face of the company can have both benefits and drawbacks. Depending on the status of the organization, a CEO who is the public face of the company may enjoy name and face recognition, solicitation as an industry expert and invitations to prestigious business and entertainment events. However, these advantages can quickly turn negative if the company suffers a financial setback or embarrassing public problem.