What Does COO Stand For?

COO stands for Chief Operating Officer and is a high-level executive running the company’s hardcore operations or any other organization. The Chief Operating Officer has a seat at the upper level. This person sits at the highest level of operations, handling and managing the day-to-day tasks required to create and fulfill the products or services. The Chief Operating Officer works directly with other company executives.

What Does The COO Mean?

The Chief Operating Officer is also known as or be called as the vice president and director of operations in many of the firms. The core duties of this person are to draft a business plan, and for the implementation, the COO has to place the people and resources in the place where they will perform as they are required to.

The COO has various tasks as the main organizer of the company, and many times, the COO has to do a lot of things by him or herself. Yes, the company size varies, so all in all, the Chief operation officer has to do the task in both of the mid-sized or large companies, from the management of product to the production quality and completing various methods.

But not every company has this position, which means that not all companies are required to make this position and have a Chief Operating Officer.

When To Bring In The Chief Operating Officer?

There is not any specific or defined duration for the CEO to bring in the COO. Therefore, if the company is working well in the hands of the Chief Executive Officer, there might be no need for the position to be made for the Chief Operating Officer. However, since not all companies work as efficiently in one person’s hand, there is a need to get a COO when the CEO needs other external urgent tasks.

COO works on the matters most relevant to internal business growth and makes the company work in different situations. Both the CEO and COO have upper-level tasks, but the COO is second next to the CEO.

What Are The Core Responsibilities And Role of the COO?

1- Since before hiring any person for the COO’s position, there is a set of responsibilities that the COO has to do after joining the company. Still, the Chief Operating Officer’s duties do not remain limited to the set of duties as claimed. Still, many other things and tasks come directly under the supervision of a chief operating officer.

2- If we talk about mid-sized industry-based companies, the duties might be slightly changing as the COO might have to work on cost-saving agendas and operations.

3- All in all, the COO’s mandate is to work on the company’s vision as defined by the CEO and achieve more of the goals to level up the company’s progress.

4- They then have to maintain the company’s resources based on the goals listed and draft the plans and strategies to manage its key managers and employees.

5- He monitors the action plans and the company’s progress; he has to ensure the results align with the company’s mission, vision, and goals.

6- A critical partner for the COO or the COO’s right-hand person who works with him is the human resources director/manager.

7- He ensures that the company has the right team and the company is working efficiently.

What Other are Executive Level Leaders?

The following names are the terms used to indicate the executive positions that might be working in industries. Whereas the companies don’t need to operate the business, they are somehow critical role-playing positions. These crucial positions are also called the C-level executives, but their roles are considered the A-level ones. The only reason for the ‘C’ is that it indicates the Chief work in the executive’s title. Next, there are some of the names of the C-level executives.

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Chief Operations Officer (COO)
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  • Chief Content Officer (CCO)
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Chief People Officer (CPO)
  • Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

All of them are second to the CEO, which means that they have to report to the CEO for all the duties they complete. As it is pretty much clear from their titles what their primary responsibilities are.

Although including COO, all other executives have to report to the CEO for any approvals; they don’t need further permission to carry out their duties. Instead, they cooperate; for example, if the COO is drafting or making plans for the new project, it can not be done until the CHRO provides or makes the budget report. Then the CFO has to be there to execute the plan in a responsible budget of the company.

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Below you can see the video – Chief Operating Officer (COO) Interview Questions and Answers:

If The COO Is Responsible For The Company’s Day-to-Day Operations, Then What Does The CEO Do?

There are many myths and misconceptions about the roles of COO and CEO. As clearly explained above, the COO has the duty set of running the corporate or business to see the day-to-day tasks and matters and report them to the CEO. So, all in all, the COO is running the company, not the CEO. In many big companies, the CEO is a nominal position where they have the central authority to approve the COO’s plans. And worked as the face of the company; moreover, the CEO has to deal with external stakeholders to get the deals and cooperation to develop the business plans and growth strategies for the company with mutual interest.

Hey, but it is not the same for every company!

If the company is public sector or semi-government owned, then the CEO’s position will not be the company’s boss since there is a board of directors that works as the final authority in that firm. The board of directors hired the CEO for the company and can fire them. At the same time, the CEO has the power to hire and fire C-level executives.

Suppose we want to take out a small yet significant difference between the CEO and COO’s roles. In that case, it will be like this the CEO plans and strategies for the company to level up in the market and assign the COO this responsibility to execute that plan.

In many smaller companies, the CEO and COO’s duties often get blurred; many small companies don’t have a COO and use the CEO as the company’s head person responsible for every task.

Difference between CEO and COO

  • The CEO has the highest rank in the organization, and the COO reports to the CEO.
  • CEOs are in charge of where the company is going, while COOs are in charge of how the company will get there
  • CEO collaborate with investors, partners, and other external stakeholders while COOs work with various internal company departments.
  • The CEO is the head of the company and makes the final decisions, while COOs give advice based on the current status of the business.
  • CEO is hired or appointed by the board of directors, while COO like other employees.
  • CEOs oversee long-term planning, while COOs oversee day-to-day operations.

To become a CEO, many people work for big companies across the globe to get experience. The reason falls here is because  CEO has to see the bigger picture from a different angle where other people might not be thinking. Although it is nearly helpful to have an experienced candidate for CEO but hiring a CEO from outside can be a whole different thing since the person from outside will bring further inspiration and a new angle of things that can provide a fresh idea for the company to excel in the market.

With that, there is now a broad line that sets the COO’srole, and the experience it brings on is critical. At the same time, it’s not compulsory for the CEO’s position. COO  might bring the knowledge and help look after the vision and maintain it for as long as it takes to grow. The COO has the significant responsibility to execute the plans the CEO and C-level executives have somehow drafted. On the other hand, the CEO has the responsibility to brainstorm some new ideas and strategize things as to how to take up the business.

Let’s say that we have the example of some IT-based companies like the smaller ones. In general, all companies start with one or some people. The workload might not be enough to get the other positions to be made, and for that, only one or two people can handle a lot of the work. The company owner knows where to take their business initially because it’s pretty defined in its earlier stage.

Things could get changed if the company grows bigger and bigger. First, the CEO has to decide whether their place is critical to managing the company’s operations or strategizing and brainstorming innovative ideas. This is where the COO position comes, and a person for that position gets hired. Eventually, if the company gets too big, she will need to choose whether she is critical to operations or more critical to the big picture strategy.

Technology or IT-driven companies are somehow the exceptions in his regard since Mark Zuckerberg sets a great example as he developed Facebook. He is the sole owner of the company to take the process into his hands, whereas the other things except for the technology development are in Sheryl Sandberg, who is the COO of the company.

In this case, the CEO can continue to drive the technology innovation while improving profitability, and growth is handed to the COO. This is an excellent example of how a company will define each chief’s roles to ensure talents and resources are best utilized.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At Nimblefreelancer.com, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel: daniel@nimblefreelancer.com

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