Chief Executive Officer
CEO is responsible for literally everything. When you are an employee you can simply pass a task to an other department or college. If a task is at the CEO there is no way to pass it to an other department, they have to solve it. Also it is not a 9-5 job. CEO’s are responsible for the company even after hours or on vacation. They have to response to every emergency situations at any time.
Basically a CEO is the public face of the company, even if they don’t want to be. Like you know Elon Musk, but you don’t know the CFO of SpaceX. Also they are the sacrificial lamb of the company if something goes wrong. They also decide which way a company will go in terms of innovation, marketing and PR.
Day to day decisions
Although they are responsible for the company and where it is heading, at larger companies (e.g. publicly traded) they have no input on day to day decisions. They are impartial (or at least should be), CEO’s job is to decide the direction and future of the company and they have to get approved by the board.
There are other boring things they have to do, like reading dozens of emails daily, making tons of phone calls, go to meetings and give presentations.
According to Payscale the yearly median CEO salary is $163,025 in the United States. The salary is high, because there are few people who are proven to be successful as CEOs. They mostly come from other executive positions like CSO or CTO. Also they have the experience and contacts which are ofthen invaluable.
Highest paid CEO in 2016 was Tom Rutledge, with yearly salary of $98 million. His company is Charter Communications.