Does your company need a chief operating officer?

Quartz has run an article detailing Tim Fenton’s retirement as chief operating officer at McDonald’s, which then goes on to posit the idea the COO as a role perhaps may be going the way of the dinosaurs.

"The COO is an increasingly endangered species in corporate boardrooms. Once the de facto second-in-command, only around a third of large listed firms in the US now have a COO," writes

The article then shows us this graph which plots the demise of the chief operating officer in Fortune 500 companies over the past 13 years.


"The main beneficiary of the COO’s decline has been the chief financial officer (CFO). At McDonald’s, CFO Pete Bensen will take over the outgoing COO’s responsibilities for the company’s supply chain, development, and franchising operations. Finance chiefs have been absorbing more operational duties for some time, typically as a test of their abilities to take over as chief executive some day."

What do you think? Is your firm’s COO an invaluable member of the boardroom or can the responsibilities be shared, with a bulk of the job’s roles falling on the CFO’s shoulders?

Type: White Paper


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