C-level, also called the C-suite, is an adjective used to describe high-ranking executive titles within an organization. C, in this context, stands for chief. Officers who hold C-level positions are typically considered the most powerful and influential members of an organization; consequently, they make higher-stakes decisions, their workload is more demanding, and they have relatively high salaries.
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As compared to the skills associated with other organizational positions, which are often more functional and technical in nature, C-level executives must demonstrate leadership skills and business expertise, as well as team-building abilities, rather than functional and technical know-how.
Examples of C-level titles include the following:
- CCO (chief compliance officer)
- CEO (chief executive officer)
- CIO (chief information officer)
- CTO (chief technology officer)
- CFO (chief financial officer)
- CKO (chief knowledge officer)
- CSO or CISO (chief security officer or chief information security officer)
- CDO (chief data officer)
- CVO (chief visionary officer)
- CDO (chief data officer, chief digital officer)
- CPIO (chief process and innovation officer)
- CMO (chief marketing officer)
See also CEO and others.