COO (Chief Operating Officer)

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COO stands for the chief operating officer, who is responsible for overseeing the administrative and operational functions of an organization. It can also be referred to as executive vice president of operations, chief operations officer, or operations director. While the CEO focuses on the organization’s outward-facing communication, the COO handles the internal affairs.

What is the COO position?

The COO is one of the highest positions in a company’s hierarchy. The only role above a COO is the CEO. In some cases, COOs are chosen to complement the skill set of the current CEO. There are various COO types depending on the organization’s needs. In general, the main focus of a COO is to implement company strategies and deliver results.

On the other hand, some COOs are hired to lead a specific process, such as a major organizational change or a planned expansion. Some COOs are hired to be a mentor to help the younger and new team members. Finally, some COOs are hired to learn from the current CEO, until they are assigned as the new CEO.


What does a COO do?

The main priority of the COO is to execute the organization’s business plan according to the business model. As a member of the c-suite, a COO has various tasks. Most importantly, COOs oversee the human resources and staffing functions of an organization, which includes setting recruitment standards and internal policies for these processes. HR directors report directly to the COO.

Another important task is to enforce and implement standards, including defining the business plan and business goals. COOs also implement and monitor the operational functions, including administrative activities. And finally, COOs most of the time work closely with CEOs, thus a COO can succeed the CEO if needed.


What qualifies a COO?

As one of the highest positions, COOs require various skills. First of all, most organizations are looking for at least a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field. Like any other c-level position, most organizations are looking for candidates with at least 10 years of experience in a managerial position. Since COOs’ main priority is to oversee various departments, leadership skills are essential for this position. COOs also should be able to make high-level decisions and work closely with the CEO to lead the company to success.


Who is higher than a COO?

The only position higher than a COO is the CEO.


Who does a COO report to?

COOs report directly to the CEO.


How do you become a COO?

To be hired as a COO, a professional should prove their skills and capabilities in managerial positions. To prove their abilities, professionals can improve themselves with new training and certifications. Also, there are some COO-specific education programs, since it requires focusing on multiple aspects.


What skills should a COO have?

Some of the most important skills a COO could have are leadership and communication. A COO should be a strong leader capable of managing multiple departments and communicating with all employees to let them know the organization’s expectations. COOs should also take care of stressful situations, build an efficient team, create harmony, make important decisions about the organization’s future, and know how to strategize.


What is the average base salary of a COO?

According to various sources, the average salary of COOs in the United States varies from $357,000 to $596,000. The base salary for COOs is around $250,000.

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