The Chief Operating Officer, or Chief Operations Officer (COO), holds the executive job responsibility of managing the day-to-day activities of the corporation or organization. COO jobs are one of the highest ranking in an organization's senior management, monitoring the daily operations of the company and reporting to the top executive officer (usually the CEO) and to the Board of Directors. The COO is responsible for ensuring that business operations are efficient and effective and that there is proper management of resources, efficient distribution of goods and services, and extensive analysis of systems. Those holding COO positions are responsible for the development, design, operation and improvement of the systems that create and deliver the firm's products and/or services.
Executive search consultants and hiring organizations will look for individuals who have demonstrated the ability to influence colleagues and peers toward action, without necessarily having reporting-line authority over these employees (e.g. project management across departments). Aspiring COOs should have experience managing a wide range of activities including finance, HR, and communications, as well as the ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders including partner organizations.
Executives interested in COO jobs should have experience working with employees at multiple levels of the organization (from the sales floor to the executive suite) and should have the flexibility to engage many types of people in different ways. Depending on the economy and the industry, headhunters may want to fill the COO position with an executive who has had experience working in resource-constrained environments where their job required prioritizing, making trade-offs, and doing more with less.