de facto (adverb, de fac-to, \ de ˈfæktə \) director (noun, di-rec-tor, \ dəˈrektər \)
Definition: is an individual who isn’t officially assigned as a director, but who acts like one and performs duties associated with this position. Even though such a person isn’t a director, other members of the board and low-ranking employees follow his orders and instructions. Additionally, such individuals are viewed as directors by law and are judged accordingly, regardless of whether they enjoy the privileges assigned to the position of a director. Such a person can also be called a shadow director.
In a Sentence:
Even though Clayton hasn’t been a member of the board for nearly a year now, he is still acting as a de facto director. He continues to issue orders to other directors, and they follow them out of respect for what he has done for the company.
Margaret operated as a de facto director at Fisherman’s, so when the entire board was brought to court, she was accused of stealing the company’s money along with the rest of directors. However, since she wasn’t directly involved in the financial operations of the firm, her name will probably be cleared.
Synonyms and related words: de jure director, board of directors, shadow director, executive director