What is the difference between a CEO and a Chairman of the board?

The board and the CEO have very different roles. The chairman is one of the board members who is elected by other members.

The CEO has the responsibility of running the day-to-day operations of the company.

The board’s responsibility is to provide overall direction; set vision & goals; oversee governance & integrity and take major strategy decisions [e.g. change of the business model], etc.

In addition to the founders and representatives of investors, it is prudent to have a few independent directors on the board. These are often senior folks with a lot more experience than the operating team and can be very very useful as a sounding board while taking tough decisions as well as for the motivation that would be required when the business is going through rough times.

In many ways a board member can provide ‘adult supervision’ to young founders and CEOs.

The CEO executes the vision and the direction set by the board.

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Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of Applyifi.com, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [www.applyifi.com], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [www.thegrowthlabs.in] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

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