I recently presented an on going project to the company's C-suite. The CEO asked a question, which I couldn't answer at the time since it dealt with a feature being redeveloped by a team in another office. Long story short, I have met with the team working on the relevant feature and now have an up to date answer.

Should I email the CEO directly or email the answer to my direct report and let them run it up the food chain. My gut says the CEO asked the question so the CEO gets the answer, but my brain says my gut is a moron who is not to be trusted.

  • 1
    You could send a very short email to the CEO, stating as briefly as possible the answer. It's a tricky issue. Very senior people have no interest in detail and follow-up, so be very careful to keep it absolutely short.
    – Fattie
    Mar 22, 2018 at 13:13

2 Answers 2


Best person to ask about this situation is your boss. Ask your boss in a quick email or similar:

I've found out the answer about that feature that the CEO requested, did you want me to send the CEO an email?

Your boss will then tell you what to do. Don't just email the CEO, as you could find you're stepping out of line and promising things that other people might need a say in first!


Since you were the presenter and the CEO asked you directly for the answer, then there's no reason at all why you can't answer directly to the CEO and cc anyone who also needs to know the answer.

There's no real need to hide behind your boss on this one. The question was asked to you, it's appropriate that you be the one to answer.

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