What is the Difference Between a COO and VP of Operations?

The VP of Operations is a much more hands-on role than the Chief Operating Officer (COO). The VP of Operations oversees the day to day operations of the company, while the COO looks to the future. The Director of Operations has more work possibilities than an Executive Vice President, but the Executive Vice President has more power and responsibility than a COO. That's why an Executive Vice President is higher than a COO.

To understand what makes an Operations Director great, it's like asking what makes a good candidate for Vice President of the United States a great candidate - it all depends on the name that appears on the ticket, the CEO. Surprisingly, COOs are not as common as they could be due to confusion surrounding their role. As we continue to demystify this role, more companies will benefit from effective leadership. The COO usually reports directly to the Executive Director (CEO) and is considered second in command.

A Chief Operating Officer (COO) is an executive member of a company who is responsible for managing the daily operations and administrative functions of the company. An Operations Director falls into the category of “C” positions (CEO, COO, CIO, CFO), positions that sometimes overlap with those of President and Vice Presidents. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a senior executive responsible for overseeing the daily administrative and operational functions of a company. 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 fulfill the company's overall mission and vision.