How high up is a chief operating officer?

A COO (or director of operations, who reports to the CEO) is the second highest-ranking person responsible for implementing and overseeing the operations, processes and strategies of the day to day to day to day to fulfill the company's overall mission and vision. These two functions are at the top of a company's hierarchy. One of the functions of a COO is to lead the execution of the strategies developed by the senior management team. It's simply a concession to the complexity and scope of the CEO's work today, with his many external commitments.

The management of large companies, often global, sometimes requires two pairs of hands; in these cases, the COO usually assumes responsibility for delivering results day by day, quarter by quarter. An operations director is the second highest-ranking executive position in a company. The person who holds this title is second in command, after the executive director (CEO). This means that a chief operating officer (COO) reports directly to the CEO.

Some organizations use the term vice president of operations instead of chief operating officer. Another title similar to that of COO is Director of Operations, a title that is commonly used in non-profit organizations (NGOs). The chief operating officer is responsible for the daily operation of the company and its office building and routinely reports to the highest-ranking executive, usually the executive director (CEO). Understanding what makes an operations manager successful is vital, because the effectiveness of operations managers (or the classification of operations executives by whatever name they are called) is fundamental to the luck of many companies and could be so for many more.

Research in Motion's corporate structure had more than one chief operating officer, including Jim Rowan as director of global operations and Thorsten Heins as director of product operations and sales. When Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle, and its chief operating officer, Ray Lane, broke up in 2000, the event inspired the kind of breathless reporting that is normally reserved for celebrity divorces. Clearly, he didn't aspire to become the CEO of Dell; he was there to help Michael, 29. The director of operations directs the planning and development of an organization's operational objectives and initiatives. The director of operations is the second most important position in the company's ranks, which means that it has a competitive salary package.

An operations director or chief operating officer, also called COO, is one of the highest-ranking executive positions in an organization and is part of top management. This is why the position of chief operating officer is almost omnipresent in companies with intensive use of operations, such as the airline and automotive industries, as well as in organizations that operate in hypercompetitive and dynamic markets, such as high-tech companies. Richard Fuld, president and CEO of Lehman Brothers, had a succession of numbers two under his leadership, usually as president and chief operating officer. Operations managers, by virtue of their inherent talents and organizational position, are highly visible and powerful.

Being an operations director directs the development of the organization's functional capacity that will produce sustainable growth and minimize risk.