COO vs CEO: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. The COO (Chief Operating Officer) oversees a company’s day-to-day operations and ensures efficient business processes.
  2. The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) sets the company’s strategic direction and makes high-level decisions.
  3. COOs focus on operational aspects, while CEOs concentrate on long-term planning and overall growth.

Business Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to business

1 / 10

A person who risks both time and money to start and manage a business is called ___________.

2 / 10

If a general manager asks the sales manager to recruit some salesman on his behalf, it is an instance of ___________.

3 / 10

Which of the following speculators expect fall in the prices of securities in the near future?

4 / 10

The method of evaluating the efficiency of workers is termed as _________.

5 / 10

Overall and strategic planning is done by the ___________.

6 / 10

Modular furniture __________.

7 / 10

This city has the highest cost of living in the world.

8 / 10

Importing goods for the purpose of re-export is termed as ___________.

9 / 10

Which country's currency is called the Baht?

10 / 10

Individual Ownership is called as?

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What is COO?

COO is the abbreviation for the company’s senior corporate executive, Chief Operating Officer. A COO has to look after the daily administration and operations going on in the company. A COO’s prominent role and responsibility are to execute the business plan specified by the CEO.

The COO works with the company’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and CFO (Chief Financial Officer). Also, they are the second in line and must finally report to the company’s CEO. They are the one who is responsible for maintaining a positive working climate among the employees to motivate them for better results.

The primary focus of a COO is to look into the company’s internal affairs. In different companies, the role and responsibility of a COO vary. They are found in large firms and do not have any ownership in the company.

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What is CEO?

CEO is the abbreviation used for the company’s most senior corporate executive, Chief Executive Officer, and all the board members elect a CEO. A CEO has to manage the entire organization. In a hierarchy, the CEO is the first in line.

Their prominent role and responsibility are to make long-term decisions and create plans and new strategies for the business. Their roles keep changing based on the concern’s structure, type, nature, and needs.

CEO is the link between the operations executing in the company and the board of members. They are directly answerable to any company’s (BOD) Board of Members. If the company is a non-profit organization, they are accountable to the governor. CEO is said to be the reason for any company’s success or failure.

CEO has to behave with complete sincerity and honesty while following all the codes of conduct and values.


Difference Between COO and CEO

  1. COO is the abbreviation used for the Chief Operating Officer, whereas the other hand, CEO is the abbreviation used for the Chief Executive Officer.
  2. In a hierarchy, the COO is the second in line, whereas, on the other hand, in a hierarchy, the CEO is the first in line.
  3. The responsibility of the COO is to administer and look after daily operations; on the other hand, the responsibility of the CEO is to manage the organization.
  4. COO has to report directly to the CEO of the company, whereas, on the other hand, the CEO has to report directly to (BOD), i.e., the company’s Board of Directors.
  5. The vision of the COO is to work on the formulated plan by the CEO, whereas, on the other hand, the vision of the CEO is to create the agenda for the company’s growth.
  6. The COO is not a shareholder in the company, whereas, on the other hand, the CEO is the major shareholder in the company.
  7. The COO is not always present in a company, whereas on the other hand, the CEO is a position that is present in the company. 
  8. The COO mainly focuses on the company’s internal affairs; on the other hand, the CEO concentrates primarily on the company’s external affairs.

Comparison Between COO and CEO

Parameter of ComparisonCOOCEO
Full FormChief Operating OfficerChief Executive Officer
HierarchyThey are second in lineThey are first in line
ResponsibilityAdministration and daily operationsManaging the organization
ReportingCEO of the companyBoard of directors (BOD) of the company
VisionWorks on the plan formulated by the CEOCreates the agenda for the company’s growth
OwnershipNot a shareholderMajor shareholder
NecessityIt might not be present in every companyPresent in every company
FocusInternal AffairsExternal Affairs
Difference Between COO and CEO

Last Updated : 29 July, 2023

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