Who is Lower in the Leadership Hierarchy than a COO?

In most cases, general managers are lower in the leadership hierarchy than chief operating officers (COOs) in a company. 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. The COO works closely with the CEO and the CFO, as well as with other members of the executive management team. The COO usually reports directly to the executive director (CEO) and is considered second in the chain of command.

The executive vice president is considered the first among equals. In addition, he has a similar scope of work with the director of operations (COO). However, there is a big difference between them. The chief executive officer (CEO) usually determines what functions the COO or the chief operating officer performs.

Operations executives collaborate closely with chief executives and can ultimately succeed executive directors who retire or resign. The managerial strengths and weaknesses of an executive director may affect what an operations executive oversees, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the CEO. The CEO can also delegate the responsibility of supervising other executives in various departments to the operations executive.