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Business Executive Responsibilities and Duties

Updated on July 2, 2013

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

The term “business executive” can apply to almost anyone working in an office from clerks in charge of administrative details to engineers who design manufactured goods. However, the definition can be narrowed to managers in charge of seeing their areas of responsibility succeed, whether they’re in charge of departments or entire corporation. The duties of these higher-level professionals differ from those of the workers they supervise.


The primary duties of business executives are to develop goals and find methods of reaching those goals, often by analyzing a variety of reports, such as customer services, performance ratings and financial statements.

  • They select projects and determine their schedules, prepare budgets and approve expenditures, and negotiate and sign-off on contracts.
  • They also meet frequently with department heads to coordinate tasks, and may rely on the services of administrative staff to complete their heavy workloads.
  • Although they may have ascended to their current jobs from technical positions, such as sales or engineering, they mostly leave technical duties to their subordinates so they can concentrate on planning.


Skill with people is important for business executives because they deal with individuals and groups throughout the day.

  • They interview job applicants, approve their hiring and determine the duties of employees.
  • They must ensure that new-hires are trained as quickly as possible to contribute to the workflow, as well as lead and motivate existing workers to perform at the highest levels.
  • If necessary, they can also fire workers. However, they can also reward top performers with salary increases, higher incentives or promotions to positions of greater responsibility.


The duties of business executives vary by job title.

  • The highest position belongs to chief executive officers who retain ultimate responsibility for the success of their enterprises. In large organizations, they are often assisted by chief operating officers who see to daily functions.
  • Chief financial officers are responsible for the money flowing into and out of the company, and ensures that taxes are paid accurately and on time.
  • And chief information handle data technology such as computer hardware and software, and network communications.
  • Business executives may go by industry-specific titles such as mayors in charge of municipalities or university presidents who handle colleges.


The salaries of business executives differ by job title.

  • As of May 2011 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chief executives earned a mean $176,550 per year, or $84.88 per hour. Their compensation was often the highest in an organization because they shouldered the greatest burden.
  • Operations managers averaged an annual $114.490, or $55.04 hourly.
  • For the top managers, finance showed $120,450 yearly, or $57.91 per hour; information systems boasted $125,660 per year, or $60.41 per hour; and sales compensation was at $116,860 annually, or $56.18 hourly.


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    • vinayak1000 profile image

      vinayak1000 5 years ago from Minneapolis

      I really like how all or should I say most of your Hubs (haven't read all) have this certain format that is really so appealing!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I think this position next to being a doctor comes with the most responsibility. I think must Business Executives have a great deal of personal integrity, but when they don't they have a dangerous amount of power. Very interesting!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub outlining the job of an executive. They must have the skill to handle politics inside the office!!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Most business executives that I know work hard and long hours. The job is never finished. I think most of them deserve the salaries and perks that go along with that high pressure job. They must have excellent people skills as you mentioned. Up, interesting and shared.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      These guys do draw handsome salaries and I guess the perks are extra? Though it is accepted they have a hard job with no fixed timings.

      Great info.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from USA

      As the CEO of a real estate brokerage that I owned, I can attest to the fact that executives have a lot of responsibilities and the salary that goes with it helps endure the long hours and requirements to run a company. At the same time, it is good to be retired. I'm not earning the big bucks these days, but there is a worthwhile exchange. I may not have the same income as an executive, but I sure do appreciate the freedom of the retired lifestyle. This is an excellent article about business executives. I enjoyed reading it.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      After working in an office for many years I have met many of these executives, and yes they do work hard, I am sure some of them are definitely worth their wages, but not all of them! lol!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Business executives are busy people and have huge responsibilites, the pay makes it worthwhile. Thanks for the information on this career.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      It sure is a lot of pressure. Money does not come easy ;)

      Informative hub, alocsin.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Probably a lot of pressure goes along with the nice salaries....but I don't think I would mind too much! As the saying goes, "Nice work if you can get it". :)