General Manager vs. CEO: What’s the Difference?

The GM sits just below the CEO in the executive suite in terms of rank. A GM runs a line of business, whereas the CEO is the GM of all lines of business in a company. For example, at technology companies, the GM is sometimes referred to as the product manager.

The General Manager and Chief Executive Officer are two distinct and important roles in any business. As an integral part of the executive leadership team, these positions both offer unique contributions in terms of strategy, innovation, and execution. While there are similarities between the two roles, there are also some significant differences that are important to consider when deciding which is the best fit for your business. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between a General Manager and a Chief Executive Officer, looking at their respective focuses, responsibilities, and styles of management. We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each role, helping you identify which is the best fit for your business and the goals you hope to achieve.

CEO vs Managing Director – Is a CEO Higher than an MD?

General manager responsibilities

A general manager’s specific responsibilities will vary greatly from industry to industry and company to company, but some general manager responsibilities are fairly universal, including the following:

What is a general manager?

A general manager is a member of the leadership team of a company who oversees an entire unit of workers, typically through a single store, office, or division of a larger organization. Not every company employs general managers. Large corporations with operations spread across a region, a country, or the entire world are most likely to employ someone in this role. Depending on the sector they work in and the unique requirements of their office or unit, general managers are responsible for a variety of tasks.

CEO responsibilities

Since these top-level executives oversee and lead all other members of the organization rather than performing specific daily tasks, many CEO job duties and responsibilities are consistent from one business to the next. Common responsibilities for a CEO include:

What is a CEO?

The highest-ranking employee in a company is called the CEO. Some CEOs are the company’s original founders, while others are promoted to the position or are hired from other businesses. The CEO’s specific duties frequently depend on the size of the organization they lead and the sector they work in. However, in general, most CEOs are involved in high-level organizational oversight and future planning.

Important differences between a general manager vs. CEO

Although general managers and CEOs both offer management assistance and general supervision for their businesses and personnel, these roles do differ significantly in a few critical respects:


Although there are certainly exceptions, general managers and CEOs typically have college degrees. The majority of general managers have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business, business administration, or economics. Contrarily, CEOs frequently hold advanced degrees, the most popular of which is a Master of Business Administration. Some receive additional certification or training in their specific industry.


General managers and CEOs are typically seasoned professionals who have passed the entry-level stages of their careers. General managers typically have less experience and are younger than CEOs. Since the CEO is the highest-ranking individual in an organization, they frequently had a lot of work experience before taking this position, sometimes in the capacity of general manager.


Job focus

Both general managers and CEOs assist organizations in achieving their objectives by supervising and directing other personnel within the organization. However, the scope and focus of their roles differs tremendously:

More leadership jobs

There are a variety of jobs that are similar to those of a general manager or CEO. Here are 10 jobs related to these fields:


Who is higher up than general manager?

The managing director, who is superior to the general manager, ought to devote less time to supervision A good general manager shouldn’t need a lot of that. The typical requirement for general manager candidates is at least a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Is a manager better than a CEO?

A managing director and CEO may have an equal or hierarchical relationship. In some cases, the same person undertakes both roles. Due to its legal definition, the MD typically has a higher level of responsibility, whereas the CEO may be the most senior executive on the board in some jurisdictions.

Is GM above VP?

No, a general manager is not higher than a VP. Upper management, which sets the GM’s goals and objectives, will receive a report from general managers. Vice presidents frequently collaborate with divisional general managers to make sure that the company’s overarching objectives are achieved.

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