Well, on paper producers are supposed to oversee the entire production, from concept to script-writing to the hires.
Mervin LeRoy for example basically put together the concept and staff of Wizard of Oz.
"LeRoy had long desired to adapt the Frank Baum books to film and reminisced that "the dream remained merely a dream until I found myself at M-G-M and Louis B. Mayer asked me what I wanted to make." "The Wizard of Oz," I said.
He didn't look pained or upset or anything. "Okay," he said. "Do it.""
"The preparations were enormous. Nothing like it had ever been done before…[art directors] Cedric Gibbons [and] William A. Horning built a model of the set that was one-fourth life size...it took months to finish that alone, and some of the statistics boggle the mind...when the full set was built it covered 25 acres of the studio backlot...we had 65 different sets in the picture, and each of them was concocted out of whole cloth and hard work."
I think the figurehead you're thinking of is the "executive producer".