Chief Operating Officer Job Description template for 2023

Every organization has a hierarchy of leadership that shows who reports to whom. It shows the line of communication within the firm. One of the personnel at the top of the hierarchy is the Chief Operating Officer and their job description is sometimes, unclear.

A Chief Operating Officer or COO is the deputy in every company. They design and implement business processes, set policies that promote company culture and vision, and oversee the operations of the company and the work of managers.

A great COO can significantly improve your company’s bottom line, so having a clear, well-written job description is crucial to attracting the best candidates to the position.

The COO role is a key member of the senior management team who reports only to the chief executive officer (CEO).

He/she will need to stay in control of various business operations; so they are expected to be experienced and efficient leaders.

If you also have excellent people skills, business acumen, and an exemplary work ethic, you are a potential Chief Operating Officer.

The aim of the COO position is to ensure the company’s ability to function in order to drive comprehensive and sustainable growth.

In this writing, we shall explore more about the Chief Operating Officer job description and what it takes to be one.

Who is a Chief Operating Officer (COO)?

The chief operating officer (COO) is a senior executive tasked with overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of a company.

The COO typically reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is considered second in the chain of command.

In some companies, the COO is also known by other terms, such as “Executive Vice President of Operations”, “Chief Operations Officer” or “Operations Director”.

The COO mainly focuses on the implementation of the company’s business plan according to the established business model, while the CEO is more concerned with long-term goals and the overall company outlook.

In other words, the CEO makes plans while the COO executes them.

What is the role of a Chief Operating Officer?

Depending on the CEO’s preference, the COO often takes care of the internal affairs of a company, while the CEO acts as the company’s external representative and thus takes over all external communication.

Rather than having a skill or two, most successful COOs have multifaceted talents that allow them to adapt to different jobs and solve a range of problems.

In many cases, a COO is specifically chosen to complement the skills of the acting CEO.

In an entrepreneurial situation, the COO often has more practical experience than the founding CEO, who may have developed an excellent concept but lack the start-up know-how to create a company and manage its early development phases.

As a result, COOs often design operational strategies, communicate policies to employees, and help Human Resources (HR) build core teams.

What are the types of Chief Operating Officers?

Every company is different and is in a different phase of growth. A new company will have very different needs than a company that has been around for 100 years and has a large market share in its industry.

Depending on the company, its needs, the stage of its cycle, and the characteristics of each company, it needs a certain type of COO to achieve its goals.

There are generally seven types of COOs:

  • The Executor, who oversees the implementation of corporate strategies created by senior management and has responsibility for delivering results on a daily, quarterly basis.
  • The change agent who spearheads new initiatives (This COO is brought into leading a specific strategic imperative, such as a turnaround, a major organizational change, or a planned rapid expansion)
  • The mentor who is hired to advise younger or newer members of the company team, mainly young CEOs
  • An “MVP” COO who is promoted internally to ensure he does not move to a competing company.
  • The COO, who is brought in as a supplement to the CEO (this is a person who has the opposite characteristics and skills of the CEO.)
  • The partner’s COO, brought in as another version of the CEO
  • The heir to the throne who becomes COO in order to learn from the CEO and eventually assume the position of CEO

What are the Qualifications for a Chief Operating Officer?

A COO typically has extensive experience in the area in which a particular company operates. COOs often work for at least 15 years and climb the career ladder.

This slow buildup helps COOs prepare for their roles by gaining extensive experience in the practices, policies, and procedures of their chosen area.

Traditionally responsible for running multiple departments, COOs must be resourceful problem solvers and possess strong leadership skills.

From an educational perspective, COOs typically have at least a bachelor’s degree, but often also have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and other certifications.

What are the duties and job descriptions of a Chief Operating Officer?

The COO will provide leadership and strategic vision to the organization. They bring operational, management, and administrative procedures, reporting structures, and operational controls to the company.

The COO will effectively communicate and encourage the growth of the leadership team and all employees. This is a key leadership role that will drive results, fuel growth, and increase the overall efficiency of the business.

COOs have a strong educational background combined with extensive work experience. A strong COO has worked in a variety of positions, particularly in a specific organization, to understand all the different parts of a business and how they work together.

This allows them to pinpoint specific problems and gaps within the organization. Experience in leading people and teams is also essential to being a COO. In addition, COOs should be strong in communication, flexible, and strong in leadership.


  • Provide management to people and leadership to the organization consistent with the business plan and overall strategic vision of the organization.
  • Support leadership team members to create, grow and build a world-class, industry-leading organization.
  • Drive company results from both an operational and financial perspective in close collaboration with the CFO, CEO and other key members of the leadership team.
  • Work with the CFO to achieve favorable financial outcomes related to sales, profitability, cash flow, mergers and acquisitions, systems, reporting and controls.
  • Set challenging and realistic goals for growth, performance and profitability.
  • Create effective measurement tools to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of internal and external processes.
  • Provide accurate and timely reports that describe the operational health of the organization.
  • Lead the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes.
  • Works with other C-level executives on budgeting, forecasting and resource allocation programs.
  • Work closely with the senior management team to create, implement and implement plans for operational processes, internal infrastructure, reporting systems and company policies, all designed to promote growth, profitability and efficiency within the company.
  • As one of the key leaders in the organization, motivate and encourage employees at all levels, including but not limited to professionals, managerial level employees and members of the leadership team.
  • Forge strategic partnerships and relationships with customers, vendors, banks, investors and all other professional business relationships.
  • Working with the CEO and CFO in the capital raising process; Participation in the company’s road shows. Connect, interact and present information effectively with potential investors and private equity firms.
  • Foster a growth-oriented, positive and encouraging environment while holding employees and management accountable for company policies, procedures and policies.
  • Serve as a culture builder and transformative leader
  • Coordinate and ensure strong execution across the leadership team in alignment with the strategic plan and foster strong cross-team systems
  • Overseeing financial strategy, assisting the finance team in developing financial models, budgets and analysis; Use data to make important operational decisions.
  • Ensuring the design and implementation of a long-term strategy to maintain financial health and create sustainability during a period of growth and scaling.
  • Overseeing the annual budgeting and audit; manage/mitigate the organization’s legal risk and manage all compliance-related matters; ensures that budgets and financial allocations are aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities.
  • Develop and strengthen financial expertise among team members and build systems across teams; Strengthen team members’ financial capabilities to maximize resources for impact.
  • Drives contingency planning and ensures the organization can handle unexpected financial situations, market changes and periods of both growth and contraction.
  • Engages directly with the Board of Directors to ensure financial transparency and to communicate key financial goals and priorities.
  • Defines key financial metrics aligned with the performance measurement system and works with the HR team to design and maintain a sustainable compensation and performance structure.

What are the required educational experiences?

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field.
  • MBA from top business school preferred
  • 5-10 years senior level operational experience required.
  • 10+ years at COO level is preferred
  • Exceptional leadership presence, business acumen and presentation skills.
  • Budgeting and/or financial mindset helpful.

How much money does a COO make?

The salary of a COO depends heavily on various factors. These factors include the company they work for, their experience, and their contract.

According to PayScale, the average COO salary is $144,313. Base salary ranges from $73,000 to $246,000. In addition, COOs receive bonuses and profit-sharing plans.


A COO is the right hand of the CEO and the second-highest executive in a company. The COO is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company and supports the CEO in a variety of tasks.

Not all companies need a COO; however, those who do often benefit from the specific skills a COO brings to a company, such as Strong analytical, organizational, and communication skills.


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