If you're interested in learning more about the individuals who lead an organization, you may wonder "What is a COO?" COO stands for chief operating officer. A COO is one of the "c-level" positions within a company; c-level refers to positions that start with "chief."

The COO is one of the highest-ranking individuals within a company. Here's what you should know about the function and responsibilities of the COO. 

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The Importance of a COO

The COO is typically the second-highest-ranking company officer after the organization's CEO (chief executive officer). A COO may be known as the Director or Executive Vice President of Operations. 

A COO works alongside other company leaders to turn the organization's vision into a viable plan of action. They then monitor the execution of the plan and manage other individuals to ensure there are appropriate policies and resources to enact the plan. COOs are responsible for looking at the company's overall operations and making the necessary adjustments. 

Small organizations may not have a COO. As the company grows, the COO position is usually necessary to ensure the CEO can focus on company growth. The COO position focuses on the company's daily operations rather than its long-term goals. 

What is a COO? The Position's Responsibilities

A company's COO oversees the organization's day-to-day operations, including research and development, sales, production, marketing, and human resources. Some of the duties of a COO include:

  • Determining the company's production and quality standards
  • Making efforts to streamline the company's operations and boost efficiency
  • Improving production and operating procedures
  • Collecting applicable data
  • Hiring employees
  • Reevaluating company policies and strategies
  • Ensuring the company adheres to laws and regulations

Successful COOs are superior problem solvers and have extensive knowledge of business procedures and policies. They obtain and position resources and employees to follow the company's plan of action. 

COO Qualifications 

COOs are well-qualified; they usually have years of experience as an executive business leader. A COO candidate may have experience with numerous departments within the company. They typically have a bachelor's degree in a business-related field and often have a master's degree in business administration. 

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