What Does COO Stand for in a Company?

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Large companies typically have an executive board that includes a Chief Operating Officer, or COO. It's an executive position that will carry one of the highest salaries in the company, but heavy responsibility. A COO typically has at least a four-year college degree and years of relevant work experience in management.

COO Job Title

The exact title of COO is not used by every company. The Operating Manager, Chief Administrative Officer or Vice President of Corporate Development in some companies may perform the same duties as the COO in another. In smaller companies, the General Manager essentially serves as the COO.

Job Description

The COO is responsible for overseeing corporate work operations, regular daily responsibilities and the Human Resources department. Small start-ups may hire a full-time COO once the company has grown too large for the founder to manage alone. The COO reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and works alongside the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

COO Average Salary

Companies that hire Chief Operating Officers typically pay them well. Many COOs make six-figure salaries with some earning as much as $200,000 a year. Since the position is an executive title, these employees are usually eligible for annual performance bonuses. These bonuses can add up to $80,000 of additional yearly income.

Becoming a COO

Most Chief Operating Officers began as middle managers in their companies. COOs need to be familiar with all the operational aspects of a business, so aspiring COOs spend time working in as many corporate departments as they can. Typically, applicants need to have at least 10 to 15 years of managing experience to be considered for an open COO position.