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Chiefly podcast: The differences between a COO and Chief of Staff with Scott Gifis

Insights from a CEO and former COO who's worked with Chiefs of Staff for over a decade

I launched a podcast recently called Chiefly, and I'll be interviewing top Chiefs of Staff and founders and executives who've worked alongside them throughout their career.

You can listen to the inaugural episode here!

This week's guest is Scott Gifis, CEO at NoFraud, an eCommerce fraud prevention & revenue protection solution. Prior to NoFraud, Scott was the former President & COO at (acquired by Adobe for $1.3B in 2021) and President at AdRoll.

Scott has experience building and leading companies from early stages to hundreds of millions in revenue and several successful exits.He previously held executive leadership roles at OpinionLab, which was acquired by Verint Systems (NASDAQ: VRNT), Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), Careerbuilder, and TeraSolar, which was sold in 2005.

In this episode, Scott and I cover:

  • Major inflection points in his career

  • What a Chief of Staff actually does

  • The differences between a COO and Chief of Staff

  • Advice he’d give to his 15-year younger self, and more

Show Notes

00:00 — Introduction and career inflection points

06:21 — Encountering the Chief of Staff role for the first time

09:58 — The key differences between a COO and Chief of Staff

18:26 — Challenges for Chief of Staffs

23:54 — Beliefs and insights

26:35 — Scott’s advice for his 15-year younger self

Key takeaways:

  • Building relationships and trust as a Chief of Staff is crucial.

  • The Chief of Staff role has some functional overlap with the COO role, but there are distinct differences with respect to people, objectives, and area of focus.

  • Lean, high-achieving teams are essential for organizational success.

  • It’s important to take moments to celebrate wins.


  • Interview with Allison Pickens, former COO of Gainsight and co-author of The Customer Success Economy

More about Scott:

More about Zaharo:


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