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The days when a COO was an obligatory senior position in a firm seems to be coming towards an end with Arrow the latest to choose to phase out the role.
The distributor has announced that its current CEO Andy Bryant, who took up the position in 2014, is retiring from the business at the end of April.
Bryant has been with the channel player since 2008, when he joined as president of the global enterprise solutions business.
He goes with the thanks from the chairman, president and CEO at Arrow Michael Long and is credited with improving the state of the distributor.
“Andy has been an instrumental part of driving the growth and success of Arrow, and further advancing our sales and marketing teams,” said Long. “He has been a valuable member of our leadership team, and we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
Once he has exited the distributor Andy King, president of the global components business and Sean Kerins, president of the enterprise computing solutions business, will both report into Long.
Both of the senior executives have been prepared to expand their responsibilities with Bryant giving them guidance over the past few months.
“Succession planning is an important aspect of Arrow’s success,” said Long
What does a COO do?
The COO is responsible for the daily operation of the company, and usually reports straight into the CEO. Sometimes the COO also carries the title of president, which underlines their status as the effective number two in an organisation.
Traditionally the COO has also been seen as one of the main contenders, along with the CFO, to be in the frame for the CEO's position should that become available.
Arrow is not alone in choosing to divide up the COO responsibilities among other senior managers with Twitter opting back in 2014 to go down that path for a while.
Before it split into security and storage businesses Symantec also seemed to lose faith with the COO position choosing to axe chief operating officer Stephen Gillett and eliminate the role, back in November 2014.
Other big names that have at some point recently decided to try life without a COO have included Yahoo and McDonalds and recent US research showed that the decline in the popularity of that role had been declining for the last ten years.
One of the most common reasons for getting rid of a COO is to streamline the management structure and there can be an opportunity to reduce some costs.