chairman

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Chair of the Board

In a publicly-traded company, the highest ranking member of the board of directors. The chair is elected by the board, presides over meetings, and acts as a liaison between management and shareholders. The chair has the responsibility to ensure that the company's policies are being properly enforced to benefit shareholders. As such, he/she guides the board in establishing general policies for the organization, including dividend policies, and hiring or firing major executives. He/she is answerable to shareholders for his/her decisions, but is, in general, the most powerful officer in the company.

chairman

The highest-ranking executive in a corporation. The chairman leads the board of directors in setting broad corporate goals and determining if managers are, in fact, pursuing and achieving those goals. In large corporations the chairman is not ordinarily involved in day-to-day operational activities, although it is likely that he or she was the chief executive officer before attaining the position of chairman. In some corporations, the chairman also serves as the president and the chief executive officer. Also called chairman of the board. See also director.