A chairperson, also known as a chairman, chairwoman, or simply a chair, is an executive elected by a company’s board of directors. The chairperson is responsible for leading board and committee meetings for the company. It is the chairperson’s job to ensure that all members are able to make their voices heard in a respectful and orderly fashion. The chairperson may try to elicit a consensus during board discussions on company decisions. A chairperson is different that a chief executive officer (CEO), although sometimes CEOs serve as chairpersons on the board of their company. A chairperson position may be an executive and full-time or non-executive and part-time. The following are some of the duties and responsibilities of a chairperson.

Providing Leadership

The chairperson is the highest position on the board of directors. Therefore, the chair can be seen as the leader of the board. He or she is responsible for ensuring that the board of directors make serve their purpose by making effective decisions for the company. The chairperson is responsible for acting as a leader in directing company relations with parties who have an interest in the status of the company, such as shareholders and banks. The chairperson may also serve as a leader in both forging and maintaining connections with customers. The chairperson is a most necessary asset to the company’s expansion.

Facilitating Meetings

One of the more specific roles of the chairperson is in facilitating board meetings or annual general meetings (AGMs) for the company. It is up to the chairperson to ensure that meetings are held regularly as opposed to on an as-needed basis. As the chair, he or she should be directly involved in setting agendas for meetings. The agenda should focus on company strategy and looking forward into the future of the company. During meetings, the chairperson may act as a moderator, ensuring that the concerns of every member are adequately addressed during discussions. During discussions of contentious or complex topics, the chairperson of the board is tasked with ensuring that members stay focused and take the time to properly consider facts.

laptop with business plan

Person with business plan

Relaying Information

The chairperson may act as an intermediary between the board of directors and company executives. Decisions made by the board of directors should be relayed to upper-level management in a timely fashion. The information must be accurate and clear to ensure that executive managers understand the directions for future development and can effectively implement them. The chairperson may monitor decisions made by the board to ensure that they are sound. In addition, he or she must ensure that implementation plans are delegated appropriately to upper-level management.

Evaluating Performance

Finally, the performance of the board is subject to the evaluation of the chairperson. If the board is making decisions for the company that are not effective, it is up to the chairperson to address the weaknesses of those decisions to ensure they are not repeated. In some cases, this may mean going through the process of appointing new board members.

Quick Summary

The chairperson is the highest member of a board of directors. He or she is responsible for facilitating board meetings, acting as a leader of both the board and the company, relaying information between the board and management executives, and evaluating the effectiveness of board decisions.