Thanks for all coming down here this morning, delighted to see you all
At first glance ‘what does a COO do’ seems like an uncomplicated questionBut when you try and answer it can be struggleShortly we’ll be hearing from COOs with immense experienceBut before then I’m going to try and frame discussion around some findings of a survey I conducted
I talked to a number of COOs before the eventThings we learnt from the survey were…
First up, every size of company can have a COO….
There are start-ups in the room making all kinds of strategies workSo evidence suggests that all size companies can have a COO
This is a quote from Mark Suster, respected partner at Upfront VenturesHe says…
Moving on from size, what are the key responsibilities of a COO in a venture backed business?
9 COOs gave us 21 different key responsibilities, I had hoped to define a stereotypical org chart from this data, but as you can see, that’s impossibleOrg charts are again something we’ll be looking at laterHowever, certain responsibilities were more common than othersBut lets look at the most common for a minute.
Just about every early stage growth company’s COO I talked to, they said finance and budgeting is a key considerationCFO COO CombinePerhaps this is one argument as to why a COO can be justified in an earlier stage business.What follows from this is that the role of the COO will change as the company grows, But who decides what a COO does?
It is the nature of the CEO that decides what a COO doesAs we all know, it is crucially important to ensure the proper process are in place to allow a business to runThings like…And as we saw in the previous slide, this often falls to the COO.Defining these operations requires both authority and judgement ….So in a growth business, certainly up to a certain size, the role of the COO comes down to a doing what the CEO isn’t prepared to do, or capable of doing.
All COOs are united by one common cause
Product managers are concerned with productSales with revenueMarketing with customer acquisition Biz Dev with partnerships HR with recruitmentAs we’ve seen a COO can share many of these same interests, so you might think a COO was concerned with all of the above But COOs are really enablers, They allow the company to functionIn growth businesses, that can mean a host of different things In one example, one COO was concerned with ‘product monetization’ In another example..In growth businesses then, COOs can do anything…
Coo panel presso
Delivering On Strategy;
The Role of the COO
What does a COO actually
(In Growth Businesses)
COO PRE-PANEL PRESENTATION
CEM GURALP / 06.12.2013
Things we learnt from the survey:
1. Every size of company can have a COO
2. The key responsibilities of a COO
3. All COOs live or die by one thing
COOs In The Room
• 2 Founding COOs
• 3 COOs at companies with 10 – 35 people
• 2 COOs at companies with 35 – 100 people
• 2 COOs at companies with over 100+ people
• All are growing and have investors…
‘‘It’s pretty tough to
convince me in a
company of less than 50
people the CEO … can’t
manage various areas of
The Key Responsibilities of a COO
9 COOs gave us 21 different key responsibilities
HR / RECRUITING
FD With A Little Extra Thrown
• Finance is the primary concern
• But not the only one
• Operations etc. are all rolled into the
• Then this is called COO…
The Nature of the CEO Decides…
• Companies still need contracts, offices
• Why is this the role of the COO?
• “Because no founding CEO sets up a
company to do the accounts and legal”
So, what we’ll talk about now…
• Should smaller companies have COOs?
• How the COO role changes as companies
• Understanding and defining growth
• How a COO can track their performance
• Defining Org Charts
• Your questions
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