CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO, CSO, CCO and CKO are abbreviations that stand for: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Security Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Knowledge Officer. Modern corporations commonly use these terms to describe their C-level executives.
The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is often but not always also the president of a company, reporting to the Chairman of the Board and board members.
The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is sometimes also the company treasurer and, in many companies, is seen as the second most important person in the company (since managing the quarterly results often depends on an understanding of how to keep the books). is the corporate official in charge of a company's finances.
The CIO (Chief Information Officer), a relative newcomer to the ranks of the top executives in a corporation, is responsible for a company's internal information systems, and, especially with the arrival of the Internet, sometimes in charge of the company's e-business infrastructure.
The CTO (Chief Technology Officer), another relatively new arrival to the top executive ranks in many companies, is likely to be seen as the second or third most important person in any technology company. The CTO is responsible for research and development and possibly for new product plans.
The CSO (Chief Security Officer), a recent arrival, is responsible for the security of a company's communications and business systems.
The CCO (Chief Compliance Officer), yet another newcomer, is responsible for ensuring that a company and its employees are in compliance with government regulations and internal policies.