What to call the person at the top of the company

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What is the job title of the person at the top of a company or organisation? There is no single answer. It often depends on their exact role and the size of the company. Here are some examples:

  • Chairman
  • Chief executive
  • Director
  • Head
  • MD (managing director)
  • COO (chief operating officer)
  • CEO (chief executive officer)
  • CXO (chief experience officer)

And here are some common informal or slang words that are used for the person (or people) at the top of the company or department. The way these are used depends on the workplace, but it is useful to understand their meaning.

These words are usually used to refer to a specific person:

  • Boss
  • Chief
  • Gaffer
  • Guv’nor
  • Skipper
  • Ma’am
  • Big cheese (usually only used for the head of the company)
  • Head honcho (usually only used for the head of the company)
  • Top dog (usually only used for the head of the company)

 

These words are used to refer to executives more generally, especially if they are very wealthy.

  • Fat cat
  • Bigwig

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