Chief Operating Officer (COO)

A chief operating officer (COO) reports to the chief executive officer (CEO) and usually has responsibility for the daily internal operations of the company. COO is primarily a function, because other titles are sometimes used to designate substantially the same role: chief administrative officer, chief of staff, executive vice-chairman, and president without any further designation. A study in 1964 of 433 large companies in the United States showed no use of the title. By the 1970s, it was gaining popularity.

Although reporting lines in companies vary with their organizational structures, commonly most business units and some staff areas (e.g., information technology, marketing, human resources, and procurement) report to the COO. In a company with operating subsidiaries that have their own presidents, sometimes the presidents of the ...

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