AOL Elects Shriver as ‘Chief Everything Officer’

NEW YORK America Online this afternoon honored Maria Shriver with its first Chief Everything Officer Award in recognition of her efforts to spotlight women as they strive to balance their lives.

The first lady of California and former NBC journalist received the award at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan at a ceremony attended by some 100 people, including her mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver, NBC news anchor Ann Curry and ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts.

The “chief everything officer,” as defined by AOL, is a “next generation” segment of parents, or influential family managers, whose distinctly 21st century management style and increasing use of technology offer a look into the future. They find themselves juggling various roles in the home—decision maker, financial planner, travel agent, coach, teacher, nutritionist, family doctor, social secretary, chauffer and more.

Shriver described the chief everything officer as a “multi-tasking maniac.”

Speaking specifically about the role of the female chief everything officer, Shriver peppered her acceptance speech with remarks like, “We are dressed to kill at the office and dressed to play at home,” and “Never mistake a great haircut for a great mind.” When people applaud women getting a seat at the table, Shriver said she replays, “Excuse me, we set the table.”

Of all her roles—first lady, journalist, author, wife, daughter, etc.—Shriver said the job of parent is the hardest. “We are the creators of the next generation,” said the mother of four with movie star and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “We are the caretakers of the greatest natural resource, our children.”

AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis introduced Shriver, his former Georgetown University classmate, joking, “Behind every chief everything officer, there’s a great vice chief everything officer.”

The two-hour event coincided with the release of an AOL-commissioned survey that found that 41 percent of parents describe themselves as chief everything officers, representing 28 million of Americans. Sixty-three percent in this group are women and 37 percent are men.

The survey, conducted by NOP World’s Roper Public Affairs, found that 43 percent of these self-identified “chief everything officers” say they are excellent at being organized, 44 percent use Web sites with household tips, 62 percent say they are excellent at multitasking and 72 percent use flextime to balance work and family.

The research was released today as the first AOL Insights Series, which is intended to address key audience segments. Chief everything officers are also more likely than other parents to make decisions about brands of grocery products, phone services to use and Internet service providers.