UK Accounting Glossary
A chief operating officer is an executive who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company. The chief operating officer reports directly to the chief executive officer (CEO). Companies typically hire a chief operating officer after a certain amount of growth and when the CEO becomes too busy with strategic issues to be involved in daily business decisions. The chief operating officer focuses on operations management, such as the order fulfilment process, quality control, manufacturing, and human resources functions. The chief operating officer often does not manage sales, marketing, or public relations. In some companies, the chief operating officer is also its president; in others, the chief operating officer is an executive or senior vice president. Typically, startup or small businesses do not employ full-time chief operating officers for financial and practical reasons. It is important to first understand how a chief operating officer would contribute to the business in the context of a company’s size and scale.
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This glossary post was last updated: 4th February 2020.