The DNA of the COO

Time to claim the spotlight

The role of the chief operating officer (COO) often defies a “one size fits all” description. Essentially, it is a job whose responsibilities are defined closely in tandem with the individual needs and goals of the chief executive officer (CEO).

Despite this, there are common themes and concerns that cut across everyone in this position. What we find is a breed of executive who combines deep operational knowledge with broad strategic insight, and who has what it takes to become the next CEO. Yet we also find a role that is fraught with challenges. Successful COOs have to adapt constantly to a fast-changing corporate and external environment. They must possess a mastery of change, to help translate strategic vision into action. And they must ultimately help the business to innovate and grow.

Successful COOs have to adapt constantly to a fast-changing corporate and external environment. They must possess a mastery of change to help translate strategic vision into action.

A recent EY report, The DNA of the COO, provides long-awaited insight into what it takes to be a chief operating officer (COO) today by exploring the expectations and aspirations of those in the job along with the skills and relationships that they need to master in order to succeed.

The report is based on a survey of more than 300 senior operational professionals worldwide. A further 43 respondents from across the rest of the C-suite were polled to provide a perspective on how the COO is perceived by the rest of the executive management team.

Download the report        Interactive web tool         Further information

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