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Difference Between Director and Executive Director

Difference Between Director and Executive Director

Director vs. Executive Director

Directors and executive directors play important roles in an organization, whether the entity in question is a profitable business company or a non-profit organization. These two important positions are usually in the top tier of an organizational structure, specifically on the top managerial level.

“Director” is a broad term for a person who serves as a member on the Board of Directors, the governing and controlling body of a company or an organization. The main responsibility of a director is to mange the company or organization according to national laws and the law of the organization, which is specified in the company’s Articles of Association.
Directors can have many classifications. One of the specific types of director is the executive director. The counterpart of this type is the non-executive director.

The executive director is a person that is considered as the head of the Board of Directors. Unlike their counterpart, executive directors are involved in the daily management, operations, and other company proceedings.

As head of the Board of Directors, the executive director shares the responsibility of the whole board as its leader. It is also part of their duties to lead the opinion of the boards, and they are the individual who tries to convene the board for its internal communication (like advising and talking to fellow directors).

Another important role of the executive director is being the top manager of the company. This position entails specific managerial duties. An executive direction also has the final power or decision regarding operational and tactical matters. Due to this high and executive position, the company’s chief executive officer or managing director is afforded this position.
To handle these numerous responsibilities, an executive director must have extensive skills, knowledge, and expertise in dealing with company/organizational issues and address different concerns in day-to-day operations.

Aside from the managerial aspect, executive directors are also seen as motivators and leaders in their organizations. The title is also applicable to specific directors of different departments like marketing, advertising, finance, human resources, and product and service delivery.


1.“Director” is a very broad title for a person who works in the top tier of management of a for-profit company or a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, the title of “executive director” is specific. Other types of directors include: non-executive director, inside director, outside director, and others.
2.Directors have a variety of functions depending on the needs of the company. All directors are part of the Board of Directors. The head of this group is the executive director.
3.As the leader of the Board of Directors, the executive director is responsible for leading and communicating the opinions of the Board to other individuals in the company, such as employees and stakeholders.
4.The executive director also has other tasks and responsibilities. These duties include day-to-day operations and management, leading and motivating the company’s employees, and responsibilities to specific departments of the company.
5.The title of executive director is given to the top manger of the company or organization. It is also applicable to the head of a specific department of the company.
6.Other members of the Board of Directors offer their support to the executive director as their leader in many ways. Some directors, like non-executive directors, offer advice, linkages, expertise, and objectivity from the outside. Other directors can carry out tasks set by the executive director as special projects for the company. In terms of legality, only executive directors are liable and necessary. However, non-executive directors and other types are very helpful in terms of the division of labor and other company-related tasks.

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  1. An executive director is not usually “considered as the head of the Board of Directors” that is a role left for the chairman of the board (hence the name). Any director whose role is on both sides of the boundary between “board of directors” which represents the ownership/shareholder aspect, and the management, is considered an executive director. i.e. an executive director is a boardmember (director) who is also employed in the company as part of the management team.

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