chief operating officer meaning

Sign up for Workable’s 15-day free trial to post this job and hire better, faster. To sum it up, while the CEO is the person who ideates, COO is the one who actually implements the same on the ground level. CEOs constantly have fresh thoughts with operational implications; they must be in the habit of discussing those with their COOs without delay.

With the company falling apart, Dell decided to bring on people with experience, older than him who had the managerial chops to turn things around. Though he did not have the title of COO, it was vice chair, he did the job of COO and was Dell’s mentor. Also, because they’re traditionally responsible for directing multiple departments, COOs must be resourceful problem solvers and must possess strong leadership skills. Educationally, COOs typically at a minimum hold bachelor’s degrees, while often also holding Master’s in Business Administration degrees and other certifications. A COO typically has extensive experience within the field in which a given company operates. This slow build helps prepare COOs for their roles, by letting them cultivate extensive experience in the practices, policies, and procedures of their chosen field.

Having experience managing people and teams is also imperative to be a COO. In addition, COOs should be great at communication, flexible, and strong leaders. The COO salary and job description can be quite attractive for those looking to pursue enterprise senior leadership roles.

Job Description

If you also have excellent people skills, business acumen and exemplary work ethics, we’d like to meet you. Today, we have bigger companies, with expanding global operations, aggressively pursuing acquisitions. Second, companies are becoming more deliberate about succession planning. Boards are anxious to identify and groom heirs and often see the COO title as a useful step in the process. Finally, the easy mobility of top talent means companies must find ways to hold on to their most valuable non-CEO executives. In some corporations, the COO is known by other terms, such as « executive vice president of operations, » « chief operations officer, » or « operations director. » A COO is also known as chief operations officer or operations director or even executive vice president of operations.

chief operating officer meaning

We are looking to hire a visionary COO to oversee our company’s operational processes, and to ensure a superb customer experience. The COO will optimize our company’s operating capabilities, employ strategies to maximize customer satisfaction, and manage marketing initiatives. The COO will assist in compiling the company’s budget, and employ strategies to safeguard assets and stock.

What The Ceo Owes The Coo

There are a lot of factors that come into play when considering the need for a COO. chief operating officer meaning This is one of the main reasons that a fractional COO might be a smart option.

While these are the roles they are often hired to fill, some COOs will assume many of these roles over the course of their tenure. Your company needs new inspiration from someone who can change the way things are going. Not all companies need to hire a COO because that extra layer of management requires special consideration. Finding the right mobile application management tool is about its features and what the organization needs to efficiently use … Transparency of succession expectations and timeline—Both parties must understand whether the COO desires the CEO job, whether the COO is in consideration for the top job, and what the timing might be for such a transition. Fit Between the COO and the position—The selected COO must have the right credentials to carry out the purpose for which the COO role was created . Companies are becoming larger and more complex, making it more difficult for one person alone to have total oversight over the whole organization.

Coo Duties And Responsibilities

The COO is a member of executive management responsible for maintaining and driving operational results within a company. The COO works closely with other members of their teams, like the CEO and CFO. This Chief Operating Officer or COO job description template is optimized for posting on online job boards or careers pages and easy to customize for your company. If the COO role is defined primarily in relation to the CEO, and no two CEOs are exactly alike, does that mean the job simply defies definition? What became clear in the course of our research is that the differences among COO roles arise from the different motives behind creating the position in the first place.

chief operating officer meaning

Therefore, only a COO with vast experience can be able to manage all these responsibilities effectively. A COO, or chief operations officer, oversees a company’s business operations and reports to the CEO. A COO ensures the company has effective operational and financial procedures in place.

We are looking for an experienced Chief Operating Officer or COOto oversee our organization’s ongoing operations and procedures. You will be the company’s second-in-command and responsible for the efficiency of business. How can a pair of executives get past such perils and develop an extraordinary level of trust? The CEO must feel certain that the COO shares the vision, is not gunning for the top spot, and can get the job done.

Faqs About Chief Operating Officers

He or she is also tasked to report the progress of projects to the CEO. The reporting may be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually activity.

You can view our other newsletters or opt out at any time by managing your email preferences. As executives who are second-in-line from the top, COOs make top dollar and have plenty of fringe benefit options.

  • COOs have a strong educational background combined with extensive work experience.
  • While these are the roles they are often hired to fill, some COOs will assume many of these roles over the course of their tenure.
  • This appears to have been the case at News Corporation’s Fox Entertainment Group subsidiary.
  • There isn’t one agreed-upon list of what the job entails, and the role may also have different titles depending on the organization.

A corporate officer of a corporation, company, or agency, responsible for executing decisions of the chief executive officer according to their decided schedule; often initialised as COO. A Chief Operating Officer is a dual role that combines the functions of chief executive and manager. They design, implement policies to promote company culture and vision and oversee operations to keep businesses on track. In light of these trends, it’s surprising that COOs are not more common. Our suspicion is that they would be if there were less variability and confusion surrounding the role. As we continue to demystify the role of the COO, more companies will benefit from more effective leadership. Finally, the tremendous variation in COO roles and responsibilities manifestly implies that there is no standard set of “great COO” attributes.


Top 5 COO interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates. Overseeing marketing initiatives and implementing better business practices. Chief Operating Officermeans the person maintaining the position of Chief Operating Officer for Crossroads Charter Schools or such person’s duly authorized designee. Understanding of business functions such as HR, Finance, marketing etc.

These positions generally know the strategic, operational and tactical aspects of their function and how they support the company. However, individually, they typically do not know how all of the positions fit together. For Example, Company A is considering entering a new field of business. As such, the role of the CEO is to analyze the long term result of the decision and gauge if the venture would be worth entertaining or not.

chief operating officer meaning

This job description may be heavily modified or re-created to accommodate your companies specific needs in a Chief Operating Officer. Feel free to utilize this job description as needed and another job description is needed for an executive level role, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. The chief operating officer, also known as the COO, is one of the most elusive and misunderstood positions in a company. With a typical salary between $200,000-$700,000, it also can be one of the most sought-after positions in business. However, a company will only have one COO and many companies will not even have one.

By many accounts, this was what prompted the young Michael Dell to hire Mort Topfer in 1994. Dell was growing at a pace that threatened to get ahead of its founder’s managerial experience. Michael Dell was self-aware enough to acknowledge that he needed some seasoned executives around, both to capitalize on the market opportunity and to accelerate his own development as a leader. Topfer was in his mid-fifties at the time and was completing a successful career at Motorola. He clearly had no aspirations of becoming the chief executive officer at Dell—he was there to help the 29-year-old Michael. We’ve seen very similar arrangements at Netscape, where James Barksdale has served as mentor to cofounder Marc Andreessen, and at Google, where Eric Schmidt was recruited to support the cofounders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Just as Microsoft did when it hired Kevin Turner, some companies name a COO to lead a specific strategic imperative, such as a turnaround, a major organizational change, or a planned rapid expansion.

The Role And Responsibilities Of The Chief Operating Officer

He has no experience in the large-scale management a chief operating officer will perform. From 2000 to 2001, he served as the president and chief operating officer of Litton Industries. When president and chief operating officer John Riccitiello resigned in April 2004, Probst became his successor. Look at job-search resources like,, and for available positions. You may have better prospects by gaining COO experience at smaller companies before applying to larger, more established organizations. Chief Operating Officermeans the person primarily responsible for the administration of an institution’s business operation, including finances, management, personnel, and contracting for goods, services, or property.

Consequently, COOs often design operations strategies, communicate policies to employees, and help human resources build out core teams. To become a COO, an individual must have strong analytical, managerial, communication and leadership skills. Helping you make informed decisions on investing, money, equities and personal finance.

Similarly, when McDonald’s restructured the roles of its U.S. and Europe presidents during the summer of 2004, that was interpreted by analysts as an effort to ward off poachers. At Seagate Technology, for example, CEO Bill Watkins relies on COO David Wickersham to keep the business performing at its peak. It’s not that Watkins lacks an execution mind-set himself; in fact, he ascended to his post after excelling as COO to the previous CEO, Stephen Luczo. But the demands of managing an $8 billion vertically integrated disk drive business are substantial.