Chief Operating Officer (COO) | Meaning and Definition

What is a Chief Operating Officer (COO)? 

A Chief Operating Officer (COO) is the second-highest position in a company, directly below the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The COO is responsible for overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations and ensuring that they are running smoothly. This includes developing and implementing strategies, managing global teams, and coordinating with other departments. 

The COO position is often seen as a stepping stone to the CEO role, as it provides experience in all aspects of running a company. Many CEOs start as COOs before moving up to the top spot. As such, the COO position is highly sought after by ambitious professionals. 

COO roles and responsibilities

An operations officer is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company and reports directly to the CEO. The COO may have several vice presidents reporting to them in larger organizations. The COO is responsible for ensuring that the company meets its financial and operational goals. Typical roles and responsibilities of a COO include: 

  • Developing and implementing business plans
  • Developing and overseeing corporate policies
  • Directing and coordinating an organization’s activities
  • Working with other executives to develop strategic plans
  • Acting as a liaison between senior management and employees 

Qualifications for the COO role 

To qualify for a COO role, one must have extensive experience in upper-level management within a company. They must also have a deep understanding of how the different departments within a company operate and work together. Furthermore, they must be able to point out areas of improvement within the company and implement change efficiently. Last but not least, they must possess strong leadership qualities to guide and motivate employees. 

Get 20% off
HR & Payroll Software