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CEO vs COO – Responsibilities, Skills and Duties

The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and COO (Chief Operating Officer) are two of the most important positions in any company. Both play critical roles in the success of an organization, but they have different responsibilities and focus areas. In this blog, we will discuss more on CEO vs COO

Responsibilities of the CEO vs COO: 

CEO

COO

  • Set the overall strategy and direction of the organization.
  • Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and ensuring that the business is running smoothly.
  • Be the spokesperson to the media, investors, and other stakeholders.
  • Work closely with the CEO to implement the company’s strategy and goals.
  • Oversee financial performance of the company and makes decisions about investments, financing, and budgeting.
  • Oversee the various departments within the company, such as sales, marketing, finance, and human resources.
  • Responsible for hiring, firing, and managing the rest of the executive team, including the COO.
  • Oversee risk management, efficiency improvement, and profit maximization.

The CEO sets the overall direction and strategy of the organization, while the COO is responsible for making sure the day-to-day operations are running smoothly. Both positions require strong leadership skills, strategic thinking, and the ability to make tough decisions. Together, the CEO and COO form a dynamic duo that drives the growth and success of a company.

Duties of a CEO vs COO

Let us explore the key duties of the CEO vs COO in detail, highlighting the key differences between the two positions.

Duties of a CEO

  1. Setting the overall strategy and direction of the organization: Determine the company’s overall mission and goals, and develop a plan to achieve them.
  2. Managing the executive team: Manage hiring, firing, and managing the rest of the executive team, including the COO.
  3. Representing the company: Represent the company as a public face of the company and is often the spokesperson to the media, investors, and other stakeholders.
  4. Making financial decisions: Accountable for the financial performance of the company and must make decisions about investments, financing, and budgeting.
  5. Ensuring legal compliance: Responsible for ensuring that the company complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

Duties of the COO

  1. Overseeing day-to-day operations: Responsible for making sure the company is running smoothly and efficiently.
  2. Implementing the company’s strategy: Work closely with the CEO to implement the company’s strategy and goals.
  3. Managing departments: Oversee various departments within the company, such as sales, marketing, finance, and human resources.
  4. Managing risk: Play a key role in managing risk and ensuring that the company is prepared for any potential challenges.
  5. Improving efficiency and profitability: Responsible for finding ways to improve the efficiency and profitability of the company.

CEO vs COO – Skills

CEO

COO

  • Strategic thinking: A CEO must be able to see the big picture, understand the company’s overall mission, and develop a strategic plan to achieve its goals.
  • Operational expertise: The COO should have a deep understanding of the day-to-day operations of the company and how to improve efficiency and profitability.
  • Leadership: A person in this position is responsible for leading the company and its employees towards success. This requires strong leadership skills and the ability to inspire and motivate others.
  • Problem-solving: The person should be able to identify and resolve problems quickly and effectively to keep the company running smoothly.
  • Decision-making: This person should be able to make tough decisions quickly and effectively. They are accountable for the financial performance of the company and must make decisions about investments, financing, and budgeting.
  • Leadership: A COO is also a leader hence they must be able to lead and motivate employees in their departments.
  • Communication: The CEO is often the face of the company and must have excellent communication skills to represent the company to the media, investors, and other stakeholders.
  • Project management: A person in this position is responsible for overseeing multiple projects and must be able to manage them effectively.
  • Adaptability: A person in this position should be able to adapt to changing circumstances and be ready to pivot the company’s strategy when necessary.
  • Financial acumen: This person should have a good understanding of the company’s financials and be able to make decisions that maximize profitability.

Executive Education 

There are a few programs that you can opt for to prepare yourself for both of these positions. 

Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM) 

The Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM) is a general management program that prepares you for the next level of leadership. This program is created in such a way that it helps transform proven leaders into global executives ready to lead the charge. The Berkeley Executive Program in Management encourages its participants to reflect, enhance strategic thinking, and develop authentic leadership. It is designed to create an immersive, relevant, and dynamic learning experience for senior executives, ready for the next level of the leadership challenge. It includes modules on advanced management competencies, leading innovative change, etc., which are a must for a person in C-level positions, to ensure the growth of the company.

MIT Professional Education Technology Leadership Program (TLP) 

This is a multi-modular program delivered by MIT faculty on campus and virtually, geared towards the development needs of the next generation of technology CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and emerging leaders.  The program is designed for technology leaders and experienced practitioners from large corporations as well as startups—innovation-oriented firms that are focusing on leveraging emerging digital technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. After completing TLP, you will be part of a cohort of global leaders and practitioners. You will also become an integral part of the global MIT Professional Education network and will be considered an alumni of TLP as well as MIT Professional Education.

UCLA Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives (UCLA PGPX) 

It is an extensive general management program offered by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, one of the world’s top business schools. It is a part-time program with a modular format that provides great flexibility for busy professionals, while the UCLA faculty and industry leaders ensure that the program covers all aspects of best-in-class management education expected from a highly respected and globally renowned institution. The UCLA PGPX will put you on the map of global leadership with a combination of strategies, skills, and acumen that will stretch your thinking and hone your abilities as a leader and manager capable of achieving remarkable growth in your business. This program has been designed to expose the participants to management and business leadership essentials in an extensive general management curriculum that is designed to be experiential in learning and applied in focus. 

Accelerated Management Program (AMP) from the National University of Singapore Business School

In this 9-month program, you will build a solid foundation in strategy, leadership, and finance and gain critical skills in emerging areas such as digital business and transformation, marketing analytics, and growth hacking, as well as other cross-functional business skills to develop a growth mindset for your business, organization, and industry. Participants are prepared to leverage accelerating trends in emerging technologies and changing business models and learn to use strategic insights and leadership practices to establish themselves as transformational business leaders. It is a comprehensive learning journey that will help build future-ready capabilities through real-world case studies and interactions with faculty in a live-online format, using research-driven insights to drive growth. This program enables you to meet other high-achieving peers from around the world, develop a global perspective, and have the expertise to apply this knowledge.

Summary

In conclusion, when you compare the positions of CEO vs COO are two key players in the success of a company. The CEO sets the overall direction and strategy of the organization, while the COO is responsible for making sure the day-to-day operations are running smoothly. 

The CEO is the top-ranking position within the company. The position of COO comes second in the hierarchy and often directly reports to the CEO.

There are many differences when it comes to these three positions. CEO is the highest officer in a company and COO is second in command, who reports to the CEO. On the other hand CFO is the head of financial department.
Read more: CEO vs COO vs CFO – Roles and Responsibilities

According to Salary.com, the average Chief Financial Officer salary in the United States is $422,786 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $321,409 and $540,229.

While the average Chief Operating Officer salary in the United States is $473,605 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $368,364 and $613,906, according to Salary.com.

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