Chief Operating Officer (COO)

The chief operating officer (COO) reports to the chief executive officer (CEO). Often, the difference in their roles is explained by reference to the COO’s position being internal and operational and the CEO’s focus being external and strategic. Some commentators point out that the actual jobs done by COOs can vary depending on the corporation, so it is more useful to think of the differences between the two executives in terms of their relationship to each other rather than the separation in their functions. Looked at this way, the COO’s role is defined as supporting and enhancing through knowledge, skill, and experience, the vision and strategic plans of the CEO. This is accomplished by the COO acting in some combination of a mentor, partner, and ...

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