Riding Shotgun
The Role of the COO, Updated Edition
Nate Bennett and Stephen Miles


Contents and Abstracts
1 Introduction: The Role of the Chief Operating Officer
chapter abstract

This chapter provides an overview for the book and the case made therein that the COO role can add tremendous value when created for the right reason, provided the right support, and staffed by the right person.

2 How Firms Use Their COOs
chapter abstract

This chapter lays out the fundamentals in terms of describing the role of the COO. Several companies that have deployed the role in various ways are highlighted. Interviews include executives from Motorola, Autodesk, Coca Cola, Kohlberg Kravis, and IBM.

3 The Number Two Job
chapter abstract

This chapter describes in detail the duties commonly associated with the COO job, as well as the unique characteristics of the job that are based upon the leadership style of the CEO and the strategic objectives held for the position and for the company. Interviews include executives from AirTran, American Standard, PepsiCo, Amgen, and Raytheon.

4 The Search for a COO
chapter abstract

This chapter offers advice to organizations looking to staff a COO position, as well as to those interested in holding such a role. Interviews include executives from PepsiCo, Apple, Starbucks, Adobe Systems, and NCR

5 Attracting and Managing a COO
chapter abstract

This chapter outlines the keys to making the COO a success. Interviews include executives at Heidrick and Struggles, Yahoo!, The Hatchery, Dell Computer, eBay, and Corning.

6 Contemporary Shifts in the COO Role
chapter abstract

This chapter outlines the ways that a number of exogenous factors have helped shape the evolution of the COO role over the past decade: global recession, terrorism and natural disasters, big data, mobile computing, and the millennial generation entering the workforce. Interviews include executives with Cisco Systems, Regus, Xerox, and Delta Air Lines.

7 Conclusion: Parting Words, Key Considerations
chapter abstract

This chapter summarizes the findings about the role of COO; particularly important is the COO typology that emerged from our research. COOs have one or more of seven roles to play relative to the preferences of the CEO and the needs of the organization.