Chief Operating Officer

Job Description

A COO, which stands for Chief Operating Officer, is second in charge to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer).  COO's can be appointed to roles across a range of organisations including public and private companies, Government entities and not-for-profit organisations. Some companies do not appoint at COO at all, as smaller companies tend to manage with the CEO, however as the company grows a COO may be appointed to assist with operations. Although the role of the COO will differ between organisations they are authorised and responsible for executing the business plan and overseeing internal operations, establishing procedures, ensuring policies and processes are implemented and followed. They monitor business costs and expenditure, delegate tasks to employees, and undertake peformance management.  


Although a COO may have set office hours, they will often work outside of regular business hours and on weekends.


The pathway to becoming a COO involves a combination of education and on-the-job experience. Most COOs have completed a degree in a business related discipline and have years of practical knowledge and expeience.  Their qualifications may include: 

  • Undergraduate Degree in Business Management or Administration 
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA) 
  • Formal qualifications in Business
  • Formal qualifications in Business Administration, Accounting and/or Team Leadership
  • Expert knowledge or qualification of the industry or company you are working in
  • 5-10 years experience in your industry 
  • Leadership and managerial experience 

To work your way up to this role gain as much experience in business as you can. First-hand knowledge of how different parts of businesses operate will aid you in developing strategies as a COO. 


  • Adaptability
  • Ambitious
  • Charismatic
  • Competitive
  • Devoted
  • Eloquent
  • Friendly
  • Inquisitive
  • Open-minded
  • Organised
  • Persuasive
  • Punctual
  • Resourceful
  • Team player

Key Skills

  • Developing growth strategies
  • Managing and nurturing relationships
  • Networking
  • Researching
  • Writing and presentation
  • Advice
  • Negotiating

Future Prospects

If you see yourself somewhere on this list it gives an insight into future career opportunities or an opportunity to glance back on how far you have progressed.