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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adelson

Negotiating Your COO Employment Agreement

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

On May 28, 2019, CEOWorld magazine published an article I wrote on “Negotiating Your COO Employment Agreement” The magazine advised me that I can use “Featured in the CEOWOLRD magazine” and the CEOWORLD “Logo” on my website. This article is designed for Chief Operating Officers (COOs) hired to oversee all areas of company operations, including production, marketing and sales, and research and development.  My article also recognizes that a COO can also be hired for further specific missions including any of the following:

*To fill a specific need in an operational area or line of business, e.g. to turnaround a failing operation,

*To expand company operations into a new market,

*To fill a gap in the CEO’s knowledge, expertise, skills, management style or experience, and thus complement the CEO,

*To meet the company need for succession planning when the CEO is about to retire where the Board wants to hire a COO to prepare him or her to be the successor CEO

*Conversely, to hire the COO to mentor a first-time founder-CEO where  the COO would likely be an industry veteran with wisdom and a business relationship network who can develop both the CEO and assist the scale up of the company to the next level or to achieve a liquidity event, or

*To hire the COO to mentor an inexperienced family-member CEO to aid that family member to grow into the job and responsibilities expected of him or her.

My article discusses delineation of your duties, responsibilities, authority and reporting and including in those special circumstances listed above.  My article also offers suggestions for your COO offer letter or employment contract to include key executive employment terms on which you rely to take the job.

My article next discusses what to seek in getting the right COO Executive Compensation Package, and concludes with a discussion of severance rights to enable you to protect the terms of your bargain reached with the company.

With more than 12.4+ million-page views, CEOWORLD magazine is the world’s leading business magazine written strictly for CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, senior management executives, business leaders, and high net worth individuals worldwide.

With the editor’s email to me of May 28, 2019, advising me of publication, I was also advised that I can add CEOWORLD magazine in my LinkedIn profile’s “Experience Section” as an “Opinion Columnist.”  See

It is my hope that this article will be helpful to senior executives in technology, life sciences and other fields and industries, who are being recruited and have now, or anticipate soon receiving, an attractive offer to serve as COO, the chief operating officer with need to review the job offer or executive employment contract including special circumstances included in the position. If you or any colleague of yours has a need in this area, please do reach out to me at

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