Ceo · Company formation

CEO vs. COO?

Maria Garnier Operations Coordinator en Socialatom Group

January 23rd, 2017

What is the main difference between a CEO and a COO at an early stage company. It seems those two roles are very similar and there is not much information out there.

Any guidance on this would be very much appreciate it.

Jason Sherman Successful entrepreneur, award winning filmmaker, podcaster, techie

January 23rd, 2017

being that I've been a CEO and COO, and currently am both for separate companies I know the roles well.


  • makes the executive decisions
  • raises funding
  • hires & fires people
  • works with the board of directors
  • pitches the company
  • keeps all departments in check
  • holds meetings with CTO, COO, CMO, etc.
  • comes up with creative vision


  • manages daily operations
  • helps prepare documentation
  • helps manage employees
  • guides executives with important tasks
  • helps manage the various teams
  • helps CEO gather important information

I could list more points for each role, but in the end you want to remember:

The CEO is in charge of the company itself, employees, funding, the vision, etc.

While the COO is in charge of daily operations and helping the company manage each facet of the company.

The CEO makes "executive" decisions about the company overall.

While the COO makes "operational" decisions within the company infrastructure.

Hope this helps!

Lorenzo Polacco Snr Director, Sales & Advertising Operations at Yahoo!

January 23rd, 2017

The CEO sets the vision, the long term goal. The COO executes it. If there is confusion about the 2 roles in an organization, either the CEO is micro managing, or the COO is overstepping her boundaries, or the organization is too small torequire both.