The Chief Operating Officer position is one of the top executive offices in any company in which the position is held. Chief Operating Officers are at the top of the chain of command and if they do have to report to anyone, it is usually only the company CEO. Chief Operating Officers hold an extremely high level of responsibility, overseeing nearly every aspect of a company's operations. Another title for this position is often President.
The primary duty of the Chief Operating Officer is overseeing mid-level supervisors and managers as well as department heads, so that every different department or area of a company is organized as a whole. They are often the lead in different areas of operation including design, system improvement, finances including company stock, production operation, and even marketing strategy. This particular position can be found in any kind of company that requires more than just a simple management structure. The product or services that the company is involved with often has little to do with whether or not the position exists within the company.
However, there is a lot more to the job. Most Chief Operating Officers spend a lot of time at their desk on a computer, on the telephone, and holding meetings. The job usually takes place indoors. They often find their selves traveling to different states or countries as top representation for their company. The hours for this job tend to be regular business hours. From 8 or 9 AM to 5 or 6 PM in most cases. These hours may often vary simply on business travel and involvement in functions such as business dinners.
Depending on the industry that they work in some Chief Operating Officers may find their self engaged in physical labor from time to time, but this is extremely rare. One perk of being a Chief operating Officer is that they tend to have a secretary to aid and organize what needs to be done before it reaches the Chief Operating Officer. Occasionally a Chief Operating Officer will work with another person of the same title at their company, but usually they are alone in their position.
Chief Operating Officers usually have at least a Master's degree, often in the business management field. However, it is possible for some to work their way up to the position with a Bachelor's Degree and in very few cases, just a high school diploma. In established companies, the degree of education is more important to obtaining the job as opposed to start-up companies where one may work their way to the top relatively quickly through experience.
The Chief Operating Officer position is one of high esteem and an extremely high level of involvement. Chief Operating Officers are involved in virtually every aspect of business operations and as a result, the well-being of the company is directly linked to the competency and leadership of the Chief Operating Officer.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tasks
- Implement the strategies set by the Board of Directors and the CEO.
- Improve operating procedures to increase profits and/or make the organization more efficient.
- Direct the day to day operations of the organization.