Chief Operating Officer Sample Job Description

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for the daily operation of the company, and routinely reports to the highest ranking executive, usually the chief executive officer (CEO). The COO is usually the second in command at the firm

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Functioning as a member of the senior management team, responsible for instituting systems that provide effective internal management. Has direct responsibility for managing and providing strategic leadership and oversight to assigned departments (Operations, Customer Service, Accounting, IT, and HR) and participates in the general management of the company in close support of the President. The accountability of this position is to drive customer satisfaction while maintaining a reasonable cost structure. The VP is responsible for ensuring compliance with governmental, ISO, and management expectations. Assures protection for the assets of the business through internal control, internal auditing and assuring proper insurance coverage.

Job Results, Essential Functions & Measures of Success

Developed & Executed Business Plans

Essential Functions
  1. Participates in developing and implementing a strategic plan that supports the organization’s vision and goals; translates the strategic plan to staff to ensure support; and modifies the plan in response to changing internal and external factors.
  2. Participates with President and other leadership team members in setting policies and determining strategies to meet or exceed revenue, profit, and cash flow commitments to the company.
  3. Analyzes current and future trends and needs and accurately assesses functional responsibilities competitive strengths and vulnerabilities.
  4. Identifies opportunities for new value creation.

Measures of Success

Strategic Planning:
  • % annual achievement of business plans
Corporate Goals -- Achievement of:
  • Sales Targets
  • Gross revenue targets
  • Net income targets
  • Customer satisfaction metrics
  • New Business Development goals


Essential Functions
  1. Upholds, safeguard sand promotes the organization’s values and philosophy relating particularly to ethics, integrity, corporate (social) responsibility, 'Fair Trade', etc., as referenced in organizational values and philosophy standards.
  2. Builds and maintains a departmental structure, operating standards and practices that are responsive and adaptable to evolving business needs.
  3. Develops and implements a talent plan to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time to meet the strategic needs of the organization.
  4. Manages employee performance by establishing clear goals and expectations, tracking progress against the goals, ensuring timely feedback, and addressing performance problems and issues promptly.

Measures of Success

  • Devotes at least 80% of time to top 20% of priority list.
  • Manager/supervisor direct reports demonstrate the ability to effectively manage and develop their assigned staff.
  • Employee engagement survey scores.
  • 95% Retention of key people
  • Bench strength (at least 3:1) of highly qualified “eligibles” for leadership openings (depth of talent pool)
  • Depth of workforce understanding of linkage of performance objectives to business results (1-5)
  • Extent to which the senior executive team is seen by the workforce as effective in communicating the vision, mission and goals (1-5)
  • 0% of “C” players in “A” positions


Essential Functions
  1. Ensures effective Manufacturing function.
  2. Ensures effective Customer Care function.
  3. Ensures continuous improvement of customer satisfaction through programs to reduce deviations, provide for on-time delivery, and meet customer quality and cost expectations.

Measures of Success

  • Gross margin
  • Timely delivery
  • Quality
  • Cost of Goods
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Customer complaints as a proportion of sales
  • % customers who feel their issues/concerns were listened to and addressed
  • Response time to customer inquiries

Operational Systems

Essential Functions
  1. Establishes, coordinates and administers as an integral part of management, an adequate structure for the delivery of effective and efficient administrative operations (e.g. finance, HR, IT.
  2. Participates in formulating and administering company policies and is the lead in their enforcement.
  3. Direct the functions of budgeting, accounting, reporting, financial counseling of leadership team to appraise operating results in terms of costs, budget, operating policies, trends and increased profit opportunities.  Analyze revenue, profit and cash flow opportunities for the business and recommend actions.

Measures of Success

  • Administrative controls exist (y/n)
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements (%)
  • Administrative expense/employee
  • Clean Audits (Y/N)

Critical Success Factors


Ability to build a culture of people who take disciplined action and are willing to go to extremely lengths to fulfill their responsibilities. Ability to see all of the forces, events, entities, and people that are affecting (or being affected by) the situation at hand, and establish a course of action. A penchant for being proactive and a “sensible risk taker” with an intelligent point of view. Ability to anticipate the implications and consequences of situations and taking appropriate action to be prepared for possible contingencies.

Talent Advocate

Ability to attract, develop, and retain talented individuals; create a learning environment that ensures staff realize their highest potential -- allowing the organization as a whole to meet future challenges. Ability to hold staff rigorously accountable for achieving their objectives. Ability to move people from compliance to commitment.


Ability to design and deliver an agile organizational structure that enables the movement of people and resources quickly to capture new market opportunities. Ability to marshal the internal (perhaps external) resources and people necessary to make an opportunity a reality. Ability to demonstrate a high level of integrity, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to build consensus, and put a strong emphasis on responsibility and accountability. Ability to anticipate and plan for changes to current organizational policies, practices, systems, etc. needed to move in new strategic directions and to ensure long-term business viability.

Scope of Authority & Accountability

People: Extremely complex (e.g. directing a diverse senior level group in important tasks in highly unstructured situations)   Operations: Extremely Complex (e.g. making the decision to expand into other markets; approving initiatives)   Money or Capital: Extremely Complex (e.g. responsible for all financial processes for the organization)

Position Qualifications

Education  & Experience

Master's degree in business; plus ten years of full-time experience leading a diverse group of support functions for a medium size organization.  Previous experience in the role of CFO/COO preferred.


Other Skills/Knowledge/Experience

  • Must have strong business knowledge and experience with the ability to  provide reports and analysis of financial position and forecasts, develop and implement strategic plans within context of the larger picture.
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of modern management and administration; governmental policy, financial analysis; project management; and personnel management.
  • Must be able to develop business processes and management of projects.
  • Skill in planning, organizing, directing and coordinating a wide variety of activities; developing implementing and communicating policies and procedures for a large organization; implementing fiscal management policies; analyzing data, making sound recommendations and adopting effective causes of action; working persuasively and tactfully with supervisors and line staff; supervision of specialized professional staff; communicating effectively both in oral and written form.

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