What is a Chief Operating Officer (COO)?

Definition: A Chief operating Officer (COO), often called the Director of Operations, is a corporate executive who ensures the day-to-day operations and general administration of business are working properly.

What Does COO Mean?

What is the definition of chief operating officer? A COO of a company is the person who makes sure that the operations are on track and in line with the strategy and vision of the company. The COO reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and communicates the message down the line. As such, the Chief Operating Officer is the second in command within the company.

While the task list assigned to the operations officer varies largely with different industries and organizational structures, some of the tasks include:

  1. Keeping the CEO informed about the daily operations and events
  2. Crafting and implementing strategies and policies
  3. Keeping the work force in line with the company vision/ business goals
  4. Ensuring proper communication within the organization
  5. Complement the CEO as and when required

Let’s look at an example.


For Example, Company A is considering entering a new field of business. As such, the role of the CEO is to analyze the long term result of the decision and gauge if the venture would be worth entertaining or not. After the CEO has passed on the decision, it now becomes the COO’s job to implement the strategy. This will include the operational level estimation of the project and putting up a team of ideal resources for the same. Moreover, a constant monitoring of the progress and ensuring a smooth work environment for the team to perform the task lies with the operations officer.

To sum it up, while the CEO is the person who ideates, COO is the one who actually implements the same on the ground level.

Summary Definition

Define Chief Operating Officer: CFO means an officer in a company that is in charge of overseeing the general operations of the business.