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Founder vs. CEO: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

The roles of founder and CEO are two of the most important in any company. The founder is the creative force behind the business, while the CEO is responsible for its day-to-day operations. Though both positions are essential to the success of a business, they have different responsibilities. In this article, we compare the job titles of founder and CEO, and we discuss the key differences between the two.

What is a Founder?

Founders are the creative minds behind a company or organization. They typically have an idea for a product or service and develop a plan to bring it to market. In many cases, Founders are also the company’s first employees and work to build the business from the ground up. In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities, Founders also work to secure funding, build partnerships and attract top talent. They are often the face of the company and work to promote its brand and mission.

What is a CEO?

The CEO is responsible for the overall management and direction of a company. They develop and implement strategies and policies to ensure the company meets its goals and objectives. The CEO is also responsible for making key decisions, such as whether to expand the business or enter new markets. They also oversee the financial management of the company and ensure that it is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. The CEO is the face of the company and is often the one who represents the company to the public, to shareholders and to other businesses.

Founder vs. CEO

Here are the main differences between a founder and a CEO.

Job Duties

A CEO is the highest-level employee in an organization, so their job duties are typically focused on company-wide strategy. This includes things like creating and revising a company mission statements, setting goals for revenue growth and determining long-term plans for expansion.

Founders are the first employees of a company, so their job duties are often more hands-on than those of a CEO. For example, a founder may handle tasks like conducting initial marketing research, designing a company logo and developing a hiring process for new employees. These responsibilities help them to establish a foundation for the company that’s easy for future employees to follow.

Job Requirements

There is no one specific educational path that leads to becoming a CEO, as many CEOs come from a variety of backgrounds. However, most CEOs have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many have pursued advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree or MBA. Additionally, many CEOs have significant experience in leadership roles within their respective industries. Some CEOs also receive specialized training through executive education programs.

Work Environment

Founders and CEOs typically work in different environments. Founders often work closely with their teams to develop products, services or ideas for a company. They may also travel to meet with clients or attend conferences to promote their business.

CEOs usually spend most of their time working in an office setting. They may have meetings with other executives, but they don’t typically interact with the public as much as founders do.


Both founders and CEOs need to have excellent communication skills. They will often be the face of their company, whether they are pitching their business to investors or speaking to the media. They also need to be able to inspire and motivate those who work for them.

Founders typically need to be very good at problem-solving as they are often responsible for coming up with new solutions to challenges their company faces. They also need to be comfortable with change and be able to adapt their plans as their business grows and develops. CEOs, on the other hand, need to be very good at strategic planning. They need to be able to set long-term goals for their company and create a plan to achieve those goals. They also need to be able to delegate tasks and responsibilities to their employees.


The average salary for a founder is $71,333 per year, while the average salary for a CEO is $283,371 per year. The salary for a founder can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates and the location of the company. The salary for a CEO can vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates, the location of the company and the level of experience the CEO has.


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