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Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

What Is a Chief Operating Officer (COO)?

The chief operating officer (COO) is a senior executive entrusted with regulating the everyday administrative and operational functions of a business. The COO typically reports straightforwardly to the chief executive officer (CEO) and is viewed as second in the chain of command.

In certain corporations, the COO is known by different terms, for example, "executive vice leader of operations," "chief operations officer," or "operations director."

Grasping a Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The COO principally centers around executing the company's business plan, as indicated by the laid out business model, while the CEO is more worried about long-term objectives and the more extensive company outlook. All in all, the CEO devises plans, while the COO executes them.

For example, when a company experiences a drop in market share, the CEO could call for increased quality control, to strengthen its reputation among customers. In this case, the COO could carry out the CEO's command by instructing the human resources department to hire greater quality control personnel. The COO may likewise start the rollout of new product lines, and may in like manner be responsible for production, research and development, and marketing.

The Role of a Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Contingent upon the CEO's preference, the COO frequently handles a company's internal affairs, while the CEO functions as the public face of the company, and subsequently handles generally outward-confronting communication.

Range of abilities

Rather than having a couple of ranges of abilities, best COOs have multifaceted gifts, empowering them to adjust to various tasks and settle a scope of issues.

As a rule, a COO is specifically decided to supplement the ranges of abilities of the sitting CEO. In a pioneering situation, the COO frequently has more down to earth experience than the establishing CEO, who might have thought of a great concept, yet misses the mark on fire up expertise to send off a company and deal with its beginning phases of development.

Thus, COOs frequently design operations strategies, convey policies to employees, and help human resources (HR) build out core teams.

Types of Chief Operating Officers (COOs)

Each company is unique and in an alternate stage of growth. Another company will have totally different requirements than a company that has been around for a long time and has a large market share of its industry. Contingent upon the company, its necessities, the stage of its cycle, and the qualities of the specific company, it will require a specific type of COO to assist it with understanding its objectives.

There are generally seven types of COOs:

  • The executor, who supervises the implementation of company strategies that are made by senior management and has the responsibility of "conveying results on an everyday, quarter-to-quarter premise"
  • The change agent, who leads new drives (This COO is brought on to "lead a specific strategic goal, like a turnaround, a major organizational change, or a planned quick expansion.")
  • The guide, who is hired to advise more youthful or fresher company team members, principally youthful CEOs
  • An "MVP" COO who is elevated internally to guarantee that they don't surrender to a rival company.
  • The COO, who is brought in to supplement the CEO (This is a person who has the contrary qualities and capacities as the CEO.)
  • The partner COO, who is brought in as one more rendition of the CEO
  • The heir apparent, who turns into the COO to gain from the CEO, to at last accept the CEO position

Capabilities for a Chief Operating Officer (COO)

A COO typically includes broad experience inside the field in which a given company works. COOs frequently work for somewhere around 15 years, ascending the corporate ladder. This sluggish build plans COOs for their jobs, by allowing them to develop broad experience in the practices, policies, and procedures of their picked field.

Additionally, on the grounds that they're generally responsible for coordinating numerous departments, COOs must be clever problem solvers and must have strong leadership skills. Instructively, COOs typically at least hold four year college educations, while frequently likewise holding Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degrees and different certifications.

Instances of a Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Beam Lane (Oracle)

Oracle is a technology firm that started in 1977. It sells database software, cloud technology, management systems, and different products. Oracle had been performing great as a company however at that point hit a growth cap and couldn't increase annual revenue past $1 billion for a while.

In 1992, Larry Ellison, then CEO and presently executive chair and CTO, brought in Ray Lane to turn the company's fortunes around. Path joined as Senior Vice President and President of Oracle USA. He became COO in 1996.

At the point when Lane came ready, he integrated packaged software and high-margin professional service. In this perspective, he was selling two products in a single cycle, expanding revenues from one sale. What's more, as per him, on the grounds that individuals offering the professional support were specialists on the product, the company could charge a high price for it bringing about a high margin.

In 1992, Oracle had sales of $1.8 billion and profits of $61.5 million. In 1997, it had $5.7 billion in sales and profits of $821.5 million.

In 1999, Lane received a salary of $1 million and a $2.25 million bonus. He was likewise given 1.125 million in stock options, at the time valued between $11.8 million and $30 million.

Mort Topfer (Dell)

The history of Dell Computers is very popular, with Michael Dell having begun the company in his apartment in 1984. It was the primary company to sell personal computers straightforwardly to consumers. The company had been performing great until around 1993 when business began to struggle.

The company's stock tumbled from $49 to $16 and the CFO had surrendered. The problems of the company were due to quick growth that it could just not keep up with. It had a planned send off of scratch pad computers that was at last stopped as a result of poor production planning. At that point, the company didn't have the foggiest idea what product lines its profits and losses were coming from. Fundamentally, its operations were a wreck.

With the company falling separated, Dell chose to welcome on individuals with experience, more seasoned than him who had the managerial hacks to make something happen. The key hire was Mort Topfer. However he didn't have the title of COO, it was vice chair, he finished the work of COO and was Dell's guide. He was the CEO's right-hand man.

Starting around 2020, Dell was the third-largest computer company in the world, with a market share of 16.4%.

At the point when Topfer came onboard he carried out long term planning, opened more affordable factories overseas, urged Dell to zero in on strategy while he, Topfer, would deal with everyday operations, and rebuilt management. The company, of course, convoluted, turning into the stalwart that it is today.

Topfer joined Dell in 1994 and recently worked at Motorola, heading its land mobile products division. In 2000, his salary at Dell was $700,000 with a bonus of $1.2 million. He additionally received 290,910 stock options.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) FAQs

What is a COO?

A chief operating officer (COO) is an executive member of a firm that is entrusted with dealing with the everyday operations and administrative functions of the firm.

What is a COO in government?

COOs are not common in government, however a few governors have COOs that serve a similar function in a company: to deal with the everyday operations of the lead representative's office.

What is the difference between a CEO and COO?

A CEO is the top-most positioning person at a firm that is responsible for the long-term wellbeing and course of the firm while a COO is the second-highest individual in the firm that reports to the CEO and is responsible for the everyday operations of the firm.

What does it take to be a COO?

COOs have a strong instructive foundation combined with broad work experience. A strong COO will have worked in various positions, especially in a specific organization, to see every one of the various parts of a business and how they cooperate. This permits them to pinpoint specific issues and gaps inside the organization. Having experience overseeing individuals and teams is likewise basic to be a COO. Furthermore, COOs ought to be great at communication, flexible, and strong leaders.

How much money does a COO make?

The salary of a COO will change greatly contingent upon various factors. These factors incorporate their employer, their experience, and their contract. As per PayScale, as of March 1, 2022, the average COO salary is $144,996. The base salary goes from $74,000 to $246,000. In addition, COOs are paid bonuses and profit-sharing plans.

The Bottom Line

A COO is the CEO's right-hand person and the second-highest in command at a firm. The COO is responsible for the everyday operations of a firm and for helping the CEO in different tasks. Not all firms require a COO; in any case, those that truly do frequently benefit from the specific range of abilities that a COO brings to a company, for example, strong logical, organizational, and communication skills.


  • There are generally seven unique types of COOs that are best appropriate for various situations and various companies.
  • The COO typically reports straightforwardly to the chief executive officer (CEO) and is viewed as second in the chain of command.
  • The chief operating officer (COO) is a senior executive entrusted with regulating the everyday administrative and operational functions of a business.
  • Skills required to be a COO incorporate strong scientific, managerial, communication, and leadership skills.
  • Contingent upon the CEO's preference, the COO frequently handles a company's internal affairs, while the CEO functions as the public face of the company, and in this manner handles generally outward-confronting communication.