COO Stories

The community was started in 2015 by Kelsey Traher and Ben Gateley as a place for COOs to ask questions and get advice.

COO Stories London is run by

  • Kelsey Traher - COO Marvel
  • Ben Gateley - CEO (nee COO) Charlie HR
  • Jess Ruben - COO Judo Pay
  • Amy Cowpe - Chief of Staff Charlie HR

The London community is home to around 200 Ops leaders, and we meet for breakfast monthly at Ace Hotel in London to discuss a specific issue one of the group is currently facing.

We run an annual longer-form event in October we call COO Bootcamp.

COO Stories Berlin

The Berlin community was founded by Konstantin Oelfke, COO Charly Media. The Berlin community has around 75 Ops leader members.

They meet quarterly for breakfast to discuss an interesting topic or challenge.

Running the group

It takes a bit of work to keep things moving and feeling fresh, esp alongside full time COO roles - who knew?! :)

Jess Ruben, COO of Judo Pay joins us in 2020! A six-month stint for a COO friend to get more involved and help us move things forward.

Amy Cowpe, Chief of Staff of CharlieHR helps plan events, brings the annual bootcamp to life, and keeps us all accountable to actions.

And you? This community is yours. If you have an idea for a survey you want to run, a project you want to bring to life, or an event you want to run, go for it. If it genuinely adds value to the London tech community, make it happen!

New members

We grow through recommendations from the existing community.

Want to get involved? Check you fit our membership criteria below, then you’ll need to have a strong personal recommendation from an existing member.

Existing member and have someone to recommend? Here’s how:

1: CHECK THEY FIT

  • Is your person in a full time Ops leadership role with title like COO, VP Ops or Director Ops
  • And the most senior ops person in their business
  • At a tech company (usually VC backed), or a company that is tech-enabled and innovative in its space
  • Based in London
  • Total company size 15+
  • You know them personally*
  • Smart, interesting, humble, nice and fun. Just like you!

*This means you know them as a friend or have worked with them before. Not just someone you met once or want to do a favour for, you really know them and are willing to bring them in to the community with your recommendation.

2: PERSONALLY VOUCH FOR THEM

  • Email Kelsey or Ben with your person in cc with your recommendation.
  • It’s always great to include in your email:
    • Their role and current company
    • How you know them
    • Why you think they’d be a great new member of the community

3: WE MEET THEM

We’ll always meet them face to face as a next step. We’ll ask them about their company, role, experience and do a values sense check. No consultants; no investors, no CEOs; no egos.

4: DECISION POINT

We make a judgement call on whether to bring them in to the community or not. If we ever decide it’s a no, we’ll let you know as well as your person, and why.

5: THEY ARE WELCOMED IN!

The new COO Stories member gets added to the mailing list and slack group.

COMMUNITY BASICS AND RULES

A few basics

  • Participate - come to events, reply thoughtfully to email threads, generally aim to net contribute to the community
  • Ask questions - the community is driven by it’s members, so please use and engage with the group.
  • Be helpful - if you have an opinion, piece of advice or connection that could help another member, share it.
  • Make connections - there are so many super smart people in the community to meet and learn from.

And a few rules

  • No investors or VCs
  • Only one person from each company
  • Obviously no salesy promotion of your own company (offering freebies or discounts is great though)
  • We prefer you not to use the main email list to
    • Ask for candidates for a role you’re hiring for (offering candidates is fine though).
    • Promote something like an event you’re running (unless you think your offer is truly value-add)
    • For both of the above examples - use a specific channel in slack instead

Want to get in touch with us about something else? Email hello@coostories.com.

Hiring for a COO

Hiring for a COO can be tough, not to mention expensive.

We will gladly share the role you’re hiring for with the COO Stories community, where you’ll get in front of the best Ops eyeballs in London.

We’ll do this for no charge as sharing opportunities is value-add for the community.

Job descriptions for COO, Director of Ops, VP Ops and Head of Ops are all welcomed.

To share your role please email hello@coostories.com including

  • Company name
  • Detailed job description
  • Salary range*
  • Who to contact to find out more
  • Whether you’d also like the role shared in Ops Stories, home to hundreds more senior ops professionals.

*We require salary range to be included as it shows you’re serious, makes your job look more interesting, and importantly makes it harder to make a biased offer down the line based on factors other than experience.

The opportunity will be shared in our closed community of COOs.