Job Description for Managing Director
Managing directors are the most senior corporate executives at a company. They are responsible for executing the overall vision and strategic plan of the company. Each and every employee of the company is eventually answerable to the managing director and the managing director, in turn, is responsible to the board of directors and the shareholders.
The managing director oversees all daily activities of the company as well as the planning of strategic ventures, acquisitions, major capital expenditures, top hiring decisions, ensuring governance and compliance, and is ultimately responsible for every major decision affecting the company. Please note that the terminology sometimes differs from one country to another and the title of managing director might mean something different in a different country. For a brief explanation of the terminology please follow the linked article <link to article on qualifications>.
Managing Director responsibilities
The main responsibilities of managing directors may be summarised as follows:
First and foremost, the managing director is responsible for charting out the overall goals of the company. This is done by defining the vision, mission, and goals of the organisation. These goals obviously have to be in line with the expectation of the board and shareholders.
The managing director also has to advise the chairman and other board members about major events and statistics about the company. This is actually a legally mandatory requirement as the board has to be aware of what is happening in the company so that they can protect shareholders interests as well as perform their governance duties.
Managing directors, in partnership with other management executives, prepare and implement business plans to achieve specific aims of the organisation. This can include things like launching a new product, entering a new market, expanding into new territory, strategic acquisitions, opening a new manufacturing plant, acquiring key business strategic assets and so on.
The preparation of company policies and legal guidelines is also the ultimate responsibility of the managing director. In addition to preparing these policies, the managing director is also ultimately responsible for ensuring that these guidelines are actually followed. The managing director is obviously assisted by many other executives who are experienced in these things, but the ultimate strategic responsibility falls to the managing director.
Investor/ key stakeholder management is another key responsibility of the managing director. The managing director has to communicate with shareholders and their appointed directors and keep them informed of how the businesses running. In addition to shareholders, other key stakeholders like major business partners, major creditors, bondholders, regulators, etc. also have a right to be informed about the business by the managing director.
The managing director is also ultimately responsible for the cash position of the company. The finance department and CFO obviously assist with the management of money and capital resources, but the buck ultimately stops with the managing director.
The decisions about hiring key management personnel are also taken by the managing director. The overall HR policies are also determined by the MD, in consultation with other executives and the head of HR.
Lastly, the most important job of a managing director is to provide leadership and vision to the company. The managing director has to ensure that the business is a good corporate citizen, that stakeholder interests are being protected, that the employees are happy and well looked after and that the business is healthy, strong and prepared to face the future. These are the things that distinguish an average managing director from a great one.
The daily routine of a Managing Director
Managing directors spend the vast majority of their time interacting with other company employees or external stakeholders. This includes meetings to discuss business plans or day-to-day business operations, updating stakeholders about various issues regarding the business and providing guidance to other executives and departments.
The time that executives spend communicating increases with seniority and at the managing director level, communication takes up almost all of the time. Managing directors are usually assisted by a personal staff which helps them to manage their busy schedules and plan their routines.
Learn more about what a Managing Director earns and how to become one by following the below links:
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