One of the questions I’ve heard several times over the years is how we divided responsibilities between CEO and COO at Pardot. We tried several different approaches over the years before settling into a routine that felt right for our size and stage. Here’s how we divided things:
- Managed sales, marketing, finance, HR, and office teams
- Ran the daily check-in, weekly tactical, and monthly strategic meetings
- Developed the quarterly simplified one page strategic plan
- Coordinated three strategic projects (whatever was most strategic at the time)
- Managed product, engineering, services, and support teams
- Ran the weekly all-hands meeting
- Interfaced with key analysts and partners
- Constantly improved processes in the company
Some startups have an approach where the COO manages the functional areas and then reports to the CEO, but I’ve found this divide-and-conquer approach to be more common. Every startup is different, so it’s important to figure out what works best for your organization.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the CEO and COO roles in a startup?