In most cases, general managers are lower than chief operating officers (COOs) in a company's leadership hierarchy. Depending on the specific tasks and functions assigned to the general manager, he may report directly to the director of operations or to another intermediate leadership employee, such as an operations manager. Everyone in the company, except for the CEO and board of directors, is accountable to the COO. The COO is a senior executive responsible for overseeing the daily administrative and operational functions of a company.
He typically reports directly to the executive director (CEO) and is considered second in command. The CEO is the highest-ranking employee in a company and is responsible for the overall health and management of the organization. Operations managers are highly visible and influential due to their inherent talents and organizational position. They don't usually aspire to become CEOs, but instead work to help the current CEO achieve their goals.
For example, when Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle, and its chief operating officer, Ray Lane, split in 2000, it made headlines. The executive director (CEO) is usually considered to be the highest-ranking official in a company, while the president is second in command. However, this can vary from company to company depending on their corporate governance and structure. The roles of both the CEO and president can be different from one organization to another.
A COO is tasked with managing the daily operations and administrative functions of a company. It's important to understand what makes an operations manager successful because their effectiveness is essential for many companies' success. This is why COOs are often found in industries that rely heavily on operations, such as airlines and automotive companies, as well as organizations that operate in competitive and dynamic markets like high-tech companies.