Responsibilities shouldered by the Chief Executive Officer (a.k.a.: CEO, Managing Partner, Managing Director, or Executive Director) of a successful venture increase with growth in scale and complexity. The tension between the need to get things done, get others to do things, bridge the “white space” between organization units, and to represent the organization externally (e.g. to customers, investors, partners, suppliers, etc.) eventually reaches a breaking point.
Most, especially first time CEOs, get the idea to install a Chief Operating Officer (COO) as it seems an obvious way to spread the workload and ease the burden.