Corporate Finance, DeFi, Blockchain, Web3 News
Corporate Finance, DeFi, Blockchain News

Defining the role of a state chief operating officer

By Anusha Dhasarathy, Adi Kumar, and Jonathan Law.

Incoming administrations may consider appointing a state COO to lead strategic operations and implement high-priority projects. Those who work with state COOs could position them for success with thoughtful role definition and strong support.

Long regarded as the right-hand deputies of chief executive officers in the private sector, chief operating officers are crossing into the public sector. As of December 2018, 13 US states have COOs in place, while 24 others have COO-like roles that are narrower in scope. Both Democratic and Republican governors have appointed COOs, and states as small as Vermont and as large as Texas have had them. Outside the United States, the need for an operations-focused leader has led the United Kingdom to appoint a COO at the agency level. As 20 new governors take office after the 2018 elections, some of them may consider appointing state COOs.

Interestingly, the growing number of public-sector COOs coincides with a decline of the role in the private sector. One recent survey shows that in 2017, only 29.0 percent of large companies had a COO, down from 44.7 percent in 2001. Many CEOs striving for flatter, more collaborative organizations have removed a layer of hierarchy by eliminating the COO role. What’s more, as companies increasingly select functional leaders for CEO positions, having a COO as CEO-in-waiting has become less important....

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