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Chief Operating Officer (COO)
San Francisco, California

Our client is a leading International multi-disciplinary practice consistently recognized and awarded at the highest levels for design excellence and technical innovation. The firm leverages its international expertise and in-depth knowledge of local markets through a network of culturally diverse, people centric global design studios focused on Science + Technology, Education, Healthcare, Government, Aviation + Transportation, Civic + Cultural, Commercial, Hospitality, Justice, Recreation + Wellness, Residential, Retail, Sports, Recreation + Entertainment, Tall Buildings and Workplace projects. Their innovative work encompasses Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, Planning + Urban Design, Space Management and Sustainability Consulting. Given the firm’s robust growth and success they are seeking a Chief Operating Officer to be based in San Francisco.

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for directing the operations of the firm in accordance with its vision, values and objectives, while managing the operational functions that support the firm’s programs and services including Human Resources, Finance and Accounting, Information Technology and Administration. As a member of the Executive Leadership team, the COO is responsible for all business operations and oversight of a firm-wide practice spanning 9 offices throughout the U.S. and globally. Reporting to the CEO, s/he will direct the daily operations of the firm including project delivery, management, and support services. The firm is seeking an exceptional leader experienced in best practices that will build on the progress already made while positioning the practice for continued growth.

Finance/Accounting, Human Resource, Information Technology and Administrative Services

  • In collaboration with the firms Principals, develop, implement and manage an operating plan that is designed to achieve the firm s objectives and its vision
  • Provide strategic input and leadership for decisions affecting the business
  • Provide strategic and operational leadership and management related to the firm’s financial and administrative operations: sound budgeting and financial management, with a relentless focus on ensuring that overhead expense delivers optimal efficiency and effectiveness which benefits recruiting and development of outstanding talent, competitive health, retirement and other wellness plans
  • Implementation and maintenance of technology that enhances the performance of the professional staff and helps the firm maintain a competitive edge. Enable staff to have the tools they need to achieve peak performance
  • Maintain a physical work environment that enhances the performance of the professional staff, to include: property maintenance; furniture/equipment/leasehold improvements; and general office management
  • Responsible for contract review and approval to include: leases, vendor contracts, and all major purchases.
  • Responsible for managing the firms risk management program to include: Participate in review of non-standard project contracts and subcontractor contracts and coordination with legal counsel and professional liability carriers as necessary. Define requirements, review and negotiate all of the firms general business insurance, key-man insurance, health, life, disability and dental policies. (Co-)lead development of effective organizational policies and processes.

General Management

  • Create and maintain an efficient and effective infrastructure to support delivery of professional services, always examining cost/benefit opportunities
  • Advise the Managing Partners on all operating issues. Document and maintain all relevant policy and procedures.
  • Maintain relationships with all providers of support services, including legal, accounting, banking and insurance firms. Leverage these relationships to maintain technical knowledge to ensure tax, audit, legal, information technology, payroll and local, state and national regulations and filing requirements compliance.


  • Executive presence and execution; ability to command respect from and negotiate issues with the firm s Partners from a position of expertise in all areas of responsibility
  • Appreciation and commitment to the Vision and Mission of the firm
  • Proven success in accommodating fast-paced growth within a business; manage multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously in a calm manner
  • Ability and desire to lead and manage in a manner compatible with a highly creative and entrepreneurial environment
  • Able to constructively engage in difficult conversations, blending candor with tact
  • Highly collaborative - ability to see the big picture and act to benefit the organization
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing
  • Relate in a flexible way to diverse populations, needs, and concerns, interacting with diverse individuals equitably
  • Develop and implement strategies to assure continuous operations when faced with conflicting priorities, short-term objectives or limited resources; lead and manage with a we will succeed in spite of mindset


  • Bachelor s degree required; Masters degree in business (MBA) preferred
  • 10+ years of experience managing financial and administrative operations
  • Experience with Deltek Vision or similar enterprise software application highly desirable