What Does a Chief Operating Officer Do?

A chief operating officer (COO) is a senior executive responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of a company. The COO is usually second in command of the company, after the CEO, and is part of the senior management team. The COO is responsible for combining the company's strategic and business plans with its enterprise operating system, operating model, and organizational structure. They are also tasked with ensuring that all other functions of the company are able to perform at their optimal level.

The COO is accountable to the highest-ranking executive, usually the CEO. In a large company, there may be multiple presidents who oversee different branches of the company, while the COO remains in charge of the day-to-day operations. The COO may also have a program manager, a people development director, and a knowledge director who report to them. The COO is one of the most elusive and misunderstood positions in a company.

While some COOs come from an operations background, others may have been promoted from a medical director role, like Allan. Vice presidents or COOs typically focus on directing, managing, and directing the operations arm of a company. It's important to note that all members of the company are under the direction of the COO, except for the CEO and board of directors. This means that they are responsible for ensuring that all operations are running smoothly and efficiently.