The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a C-suite executive responsible for overseeing a company’s day-to-day business operations. While the CEO looks after the company’s overall leadership, the COO makes sure of the day-to-day implementation. In other words, he executes the operational directives laid down by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and also reports to him. If for example, it is a company goal to boost customer satisfaction, the COO would get the associated departments to implement the plan and also come up with ways to assess the progress. The COO would measure the progress over time, put forth recommendations on specific issues before the CEO and board, and report back to the former on the status with respect to getting closer to the strategic goal.

Chief Operating Officer – Roles

In contrast to other positions in the C-suite for which roles are defined according to specifically designated duties across most companies, the role of the COO is delineated on the basis of the particular CEO to whom he/she reports. This is because of the close working relationship of these two high ranking executives. In spite of the variations, certain typical duties associated with the Chief Executive Officer may be cited. These include:

  • Supervising daily operations and informing the CEO about significant events
  • Conveying policy and strategy to employees
  • Supervising human resource management
  • Developing operations policy and strategy
  • Encouraging employee alignment with company objectives

A competent Chief Operating Officer is expected to enhance his company’s working capital management and inventory, product lifecycle, return on assets and manufacturing capacity. COOs are also on the hook to cleverly tap low-cost supply sources and budding markets and increase international operations while keeping up-to-date on various kinds of business issues such as environmental sustainability, international tax and operations tax. They would be able to convince and motivate the company’s people towards action, handle a variety of departments and get things done in accordance with the CEO’s directives and the company’s well thought-out vision – all within the company’s economic constraints.