What does a Chief Operating Officer do?
The primary function of a Chief Operating Officer is to manage the ongoing operations and processes of a business. COOs control various business operations and implement the company’s strategic initiatives. They oversee the creation of budgets and financial reports, create strategic goals and direct employees toward achieving the company’s vision and mission. The Chief Operating Officer handles most of the internal affairs of the company and usually has extensive experience with designing operating strategies and building teams to achieve these goals. They also create reports to inform the Chief Executive Officer and other stakeholders of the company’s performance.
Chief Operating Officer skills and qualifications
A successful Chief Operating Officer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, these typically include:
- Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or industry-relevant equivalent
- Proven experience in a senior executive role
- In-depth understanding of the industry and the workings of different departments of a company, including finance, sales and human resources
- Excellent leadership and organisational skills
- Knowledge of accounting, financial analysis and data analysis
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills
- Strategic planning and business development
- Experience in budgeting and sales
Chief Operating Officer experience requirements
Chief Operating Officers typically have a minimum of 15 years’ work experience in their chosen field. The role requires extensive experience across diverse departments in the field in which the COO’s employer operates. In many organisations the COO must have at least five years of proven work experience in a senior management position. This experience shows that the COO has valuable insight into the policies, practices and cultures of the industry and places them in a strong position to help move their company forward towards its goals.
Chief Operating Officer education and training requirements
The minimum academic requirement for Chief Operating Officers is a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration or other relevant disciplines. Candidates who completed an advanced apprenticeship relevant to an industry can also work their way up to the position of a Chief Operating Officer, although they may require professional certifications. Some employers may require candidates to have a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In specialised industries, such as engineering and medicine, the COO is usually a professional Engineer or Physician who rose through the corporate ladder. Some organisations require their Chief Operating Officers to have professional certifications, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) or Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA).
Chief Operating Officer salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Chief Operating Officer candidates is £80,838 per year. The actual pay may depend on the employer, the job duties and responsibilities, location, qualifications, experience and industry.
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