The chief operating officer (COO) is a member of a company’s senior executive management committee. In the decision-making role, the COO is in charge of the company’s day-to-day on-floor operations. The primary responsibility of the position is to manage the company’s end-to-end operations, and connect daily business activities with the company’s principal purpose.
Usually, the COO functions as the company’s second-in-command after the chief executing officer (CEO). And they work closely with the CEO, CFO, and other members of the senior management team, sometimes known as the C-suite.
Some organizations refer to position as Vice President of Operations or Director of Operations.
The COO’s roles & responsibilities
The COO is in charge of the company’s operational, managerial, and administrative procedures. They play a critical role in the company since they are responsible for generating outcomes, accomplishing corporate goals, and enhancing overall productivity. Other responsibilities include:
- Design, convey and implement company-wide strategies, initiatives, plans, and operational procedures.
- Oversee the company’s internal affairs.
- Drive the company’s operational capabilities to meet customer expectations and company objectives.
- Control and minimize operating costs, as well as oversight of the company’s quality control efforts.
- Monitor marketing possibilities and put improved business procedures in place.
- Set goals for growth, performance, and profitability that are process-specific and achievable.
The Chief Operating Officer’s duty is multidimensional. They should fully understand business and finance, as well as have excellent people and risk management abilities.
COO vs. CEO
The connection between the CEO and the COO is critical to a company’s overall success and growth. Typically, the COO reports only to the CEO, and also handles executive leadership duties in the absence of the CEO.
While the CEO is are responsible for the company’s long-term vision and business objectives, the COO implements strategies based on the goals into day-to-day operations to achieve the set aim. The two work through high-level strategy together, clarifying the company’s aims and objectives. Then the COO breaks down each job for the rest of the team, detailing their roles in achieving those goals.
What are the key skills required to be a COO?
COOs often have post-graduate business degrees, as well as extensive leadership experience. Because the role is responsible for the functioning of multiple teams and business units, they require excellent strategic, communication, and leadership abilities to lead and supervise the teams. A chief operating officer focused on results will manage operations and achieve results. Strong analytical, management, decision-making, and strategic thinking are other skills expected of a COO.