The COO is responsible for the daily operations of a company and for helping the CEO in a variety of tasks. Not all companies require an operations director; however, those that do usually benefit from the set of specific skills that a COO brings to the company, such as strong analytical, organizational and communication skills. Ten years ago, if you were the founder of a high-growth company, it was quite likely that your investors would want to hire the supervision of an “adult” as CEO to run your company. In recent years, this has translated into a list of hiring managers of operations managers, following the example of Facebook with the successful run of Sheryl Sandberg.
A high-growth startup is now much more likely to hire an operations director to support the company's founders, rather than a CEO to replace them. If the chief operating officer is out of her reach, she often won't accept being downgraded to vice president and instead leaves. The chief operating officer must initiate and drive customer success by improving value. The chief operating officer is responsible for leading innovation in the company.
The chief operating officer must focus on technology and drive the way the company operates. This can mean renewing the way a specific team uses technology to grow in business planning and investments. Now that the world is being digitized due to COVID-19, it is important to shift the narrative towards the digital space and improve performance. The operations manager must be resilient and improve the company's vehicle.
An operations director (COO) is a dual function that combines the functions of executive director and manager. They design and implement policies to promote the company's culture and vision and oversee operations to keep companies on track. Now that you know what a COO is and how the role differs from that of a CEO, let's see what a COO does on a daily basis.