What is the Difference Between COO vs CEO – Everything to Your Knowledge

Differences Between COO vs CEO

When you work in a company or are interested in the business field and the hierarchy of the companies, it is better to understand the employee roles and responsibilities. Though many employees in a company do many roles, executive roles such as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are the key roles in a company that has a great responsibility for the company and its progression. This guide aims to let you understand the difference between a COO vs CEO describing all the aspects that become different. 

Many people need help understanding the COO vs CEO, and that is why we have created this guide, including every detail related to this question. In this guide, not only are you going to learn the differences between CEO and COO, you will learn the CEO vs COO responsibilities along with the CEO vs COO vs CFO roles. Even though both these roles are higher ranking executives in a company, there are differences between these roles, and let us get into the guide to check what these differences are. 

What is COO

The COO meaning is the Chief Operating Officer and is a higher-ranking executive in a company, and this person has to report all things to the CEO, making the COO second to the CEO. The COO has many responsibilities as it is a higher executive ranking in a company. Some of the tasks that the COO has to complete are overseeing daily operations in the business or the company, whether the processes are running well, resources, systems, etc. 

The COO works coordinating with other executives in a company, and the COO has a responsibility to create strategies for the company’s future to obtain higher achievements and to manage the operations well. A COO has to manage the operations all the time, and a COO has to be good at problem-solving and analytical skills to handle any situation. Even though the COO is the second highest executive officer in a company, this role has a lot of tasks to perform and handle. 

In some businesses, COOs are in charge of many other business units, such as product development, marketing, etc. Even though there is a standard set of responsibilities for the COO, the responsibility range of the COO will vary from the company or the organization you work from. 

What is CEO

In finding the answer to the question, what is COO vs CEO? Let us see who is a Chief Executive Officer from now on. The highest rank in the executive level of the company is CEO, and the responsibilities of the CEO are more significant than the COO. Setting decisions about the company, setting the company’s vision, and ensuring the company’s performance is better are some of the responsibilities the CEO has. And the CEO is in charge of all the aspects of a company. 

When the COO works closely with the other executive officers, the CEO works with the board of directors when making decisions about the company. The CEO is the iconic figure in the company representing the company on all occasions. Becoming a CEO is not easy because a CEO must possess strong leadership skills, strategy-building skills, thinking skills, knowledge about “what is tactical management”, and a deep understanding of the competitors and the industry. 

Differences Between COO vs CEO

Earlier, you learned the CEO and COO roles separately, and now you will know the COO vs CEO. When measuring the COO vs CEO, we will go through many aspects. Therefore let us see the differences between these roles, from responsibilities to salary expectations. 


One of the main aspects that the COO and CEO become different in is their responsibilities. Even though the CEO and COO work for the best of the company to make it successful, they have different responsibilities. Let us see the COO vs CEO regarding their responsibilities. 

COO’s Responsibilities CEO’s Responsibilities
Second highest executive ranking of the company.Highest executive ranking of the company. 
Reports to the Chief Executive Officer.Reports to the director board.
Helps the vision of the company be activated.Sets the vision of the company.
Responsible for how the company operates.Responsible for making the company successful without making it a failure.
Works with the internal parties of the company.Works with external parties related to the company.


Do you know who earns the highest salaries, CEO or COO? As the highest rank of the executive level, CEO earns a higher salary than the COO rank. The factors that affect the salary of the COO and CEO are the company they work for, their performance in these two roles, the industry they work for, the company’s location, experience, etc. 


Since the CEO and COO focus on various aspects of the company, the qualifications needed for each role differ. But both COO vs CEO need good experience to become successful people in their careers. Since CEOs more often create strategies while focusing on each aspect of the company, they should be qualified in business strategy, marketing, finance, etc. 

The COOs mainly focus on the company’s operations, and because of that, they should have good qualifications on the operation side. A bachelor’s degree and MBA will help these CEOs and COOs succeed in their career. 


We have looked at the differences between the COO and CEO. But we noticed that many of you wanted to know more about CEO vs CFO vs COO because learning these three roles together will help you understand these executive posts well. The CFO is a role or an executive position representing the Chief Financial Officer. The CFO is responsible for all aspects of the company’s finance, such as financial planning, budgeting, managing financial operations, etc. 

The difference between CEO vs CFO vs COO is that the CEO sets all the strategies and the company’s vision to make it successful, CFO takes care of the finance unit of the company, and the COO manages the company’s daily operations. 


COO vs CEO has significantly been explained in this guide, and because of that, we know you now know how these two roles become different from each other. Even though these two roles are different, each is essential in keeping the company well-managed while running smoothly. Key factors affect the difference between these roles, which we mentioned above. So this is how these two key roles of a company differ from each other. 

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