Chief executive or managing director


What they do

Chief executives and managing directors provide overall leadership and direction for an organisation. They are responsible for making major decisions and managing the operations, policies and strategies of the company.

Chief executives and managing directors usually report to a board of directors or equivalent body of governance. They must establish and maintain positive relationships with various internal and external stakeholders. They delegate responsibilities and monitor the performance of staff and of the organisation.

Specialisations include: Director-General, Executive Director, Secretary (Government Department)

Working conditions

Chief executives and managing directors are usually based in an office and develop strategies, policies and programs for their organisation.

They spend considerable time networking and have a strong focus on managing relationships. Chief executives and managing directors may spend a lot of time in meetings with various stakeholders, and travelling to represent their organisation at official events.

Tools and technologies

Chief executives and managing directors will perform many of their tasks on a computer. A large part of their work is managing relationships, so they typically spend considerable time on the phone or using email. They may use business software, and need to be familiar with word-processing programs.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a chief executive or managing director you usually need to gain extensive experience in your chosen industry, and in management.

You may improve your employment prospects if you complete a formal qualification in management or leadership. Relevant courses are widely offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.  Browse the Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills websites to find a training provider near you.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.