SOS Children's Villages – Interim Chief Operating Officer

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Interim Chief Operating Officer

May 2024

About SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest organization focused on ensuring that children and young people without parental care or at risk of losing it grow up with the care, relationships and support they need to become their strongest selves.

SOS Children’s Villages builds families for children in need, help them shape their own futures, and share in the development of their communities. They are there for children and young people no matter their background, experience, culture, heritage, religion, sexual orientation, political alignment, gender, disability, or origin. The children are SOS Children’s Villages’ priority, and they do whatever it takes to ensure that the children grow up empowered with trust and a feeling of belonging. Their work is adapted to local contexts and customs.

SOS Children’s Villages has programmes in 140 countries. There are two types of programmes:

1. Villages where children live

2. Preventive programmes for children at risk.


The Role

Role: Interim Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Duration: 12 months

Starting Date: latest 1 July 2024

To be based in: Vienna or Innsbruck (for at least 70-80% of the time)

Reports to: President of the Federation

Member of: Executive Board (EB), consisting of CEO/CPO, and COO

Interactions with: National Boards and National Directors, Promoting and Supporting Associations (PSAs), International Senate, Management Council, CEO/CPO, Regional Directors, President

Supervises: International Directors (ID) responsible for Financial Control, ICT, People & Culture, Fund Development, Communications and Brand, and Internal Audit; Team leader General Services, Executive Assistant COO, General Council

Responsibility: The EB is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the General Assembly and the International Senate and handling the Federation’s day-to-day business and management requirements


Background of the Assignment

SOS Children’s Villages’ COO left October 2023 and the Secretary General of SOS Sweden is acting in the role until June 2024. There is a transformation process ongoing that includes rationalizing of the Secretariat, based in Austria (Innsbruck and Vienna) but also in the five regions which are an integral part of the General secretariat. A strategic implementation plan

for the transformation process is almost ready, and an experienced interim COO is required to implement the required changes before a longer-term COO comes into post. This will mean implementing a new organizational design, a new service model and continued cost reduction activities and reductions in the workforce.

Current organisational set-up and role of the Executive Board (EB)

The EB is responsible for implementing the decisions taken by the General Assembly and the International Senate and handling the Federation’s day-to-day business and management requirements.

The EB leads and manages the General Secretariat (GSC), which provides support and services to the member associations as laid down in the applicable Statutes. The EB is accountable for the global performance of the General Secretariat (GSC) and its GSC managed National Associations (GSC run NAs)

The functions, the rights and duties of the EB are governed by the organization’s rules of procedures. The COO in the role as Executive Board member is also a member of the International Senate and its respective subcommittee “Finance and Audit” (without a voting right).

The top structure of the EB and the overall governance of the organization are under a review process. A new EB structure is expected to be in place as a result of the reviews.


Purpose of the Position

The COO priority is to provide quality services to the General Secretariat (GSC) units and the Member Associations. The incumbent ensures standards where employees can achieve maximum impact, through effective resource (human and financial) management, reporting, and safeguarding in accordance with SOS Children’s Villages’ purpose, values, behaviors, and global policies.

As a member of the Executive Board (EB), the COO is accountable for the overall performance and strategy of the GSC and individually accountable for specific portfolios (Information Technology, Human Resources and Organizational Development, Finance, General Services, Fund Development, Communications and Brand, General Counsel Office, Internal Audit).

While reporting directly to the President, the COO provides strategic guidance within the scope of the assigned portfolios to major stakeholders, including but not limited to the President, International Senate, CEO, CPO, Management Council (MCO) and Member Associations (MAs).

The incumbent directly supervises the International Directors responsible for the assigned portfolios (ICT, FC, P&C) and manages their individual performance. The incumbent monitors the implementation of plans, agreements and KPIs for the specific portfolios, and ensures compliance with federation policies and standards.

The COO is also driving the Transformation together with the CEO/CPO which is at the moment a major part of the assignment. This means making plans for the future actions, monitoring the financial situation as well as making sure that the process moves forward.

Person Specification

Functional Competences

• Ability to scale between strategy and hands on implementation

• Ability to manage and influence stakeholders and deal with highly complex situations

• Visionary and strategic ways of thinking and experience in implementing innovative approaches

• Proven track record in managing change processes effectively

• Result orientation

• Experience in managing global financial processes and operations of an organization (planning, analysing, controlling and treasury incl. tools and quality standards) at the size of hundreds of millions to a billion Euro/US$

• Expertise in global financial risk management including compliance, reporting (KPI)

• Good knowledge to enhance a high-performing, values-driven, and inclusive organization; and safe, equitable and inclusive working environment

• Experience in overseeing key HR process and aspects i.e. talent management, recruitment, performance management, compensation and benefits, training and development as well as the implementation of Human Resources policies and strategies

• Leadership skills with the ability to delegate, motivate and inspire team members

• Good expertise in business-information technology strategies, technology infrastructure and solutions (incl. IT operations) for a global organisation

• Proficient understanding of IT services framework and IT security policies etc.

Values Based Competences

• Inclusiveness/ mindful of diverse perspectives and experiences, respecting and valuing every person equally

• Role Model/acting as a role model for the organisation and living its values inspiring and learning from others

• Strategic thinking/ living the values and mission, setting realistic goals and translate them into actionable plans

• Collaboration/removing barriers to participation, share decision making and build partnerships

• Empowerment/promoting inclusion and equitable sharing of power

• Results orientation/prioritizing safeguarding, look for solutions and focus on desired results

• Demonstrates and models organisational values and behaviors aligned with those of SOS


How to Apply

All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, submit your CV and cover letter as two different documents in one email to and The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.

The document should be saved in PDF in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyyyy) e.g., PatJones-CV-052024-SOS-InterimCOO or Pat-JonesCoverLetter-052024-SOS-InterimCOO.

Please note that for this interim role candidates need to have the right to work in Austria.


Closing Date: First stage interviews: Final interviews: 2 June 2024 3 and 4 June 2024 Week of June 10th 2024

Selection Process

All candidates will receive an update regarding their application after the closing date. We advise candidates to add the role email to their safe senders list and regularly check their spam folder.

Equality Statement

Equality and diversity are at the core of SOS Children’s Villages’ values. Staff are expected to work collectively and individually to promote a constructive and sensitive approach to others from a variety of backgrounds, where the work of others is valued and respected.


If you have any queries on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information, or would like to have an informal discussion, please email to and in the first instance.


About Oxford HR

Exceptional leaders can inspire change and propel purpose-led organisations towards reaching their world-changing goals. Finding such leaders can be a challenge; and yet their transition into leadership is vital to an organisations mission and success.

Oxford HR is a global leadership consultancy dedicated to searching for and supporting remarkable leaders and teams in purpose-led organisations. We understand the nuances of purpose-led leadership because we’ve worked in organisations across the breadth of the sector ourselves. We’ve also worked with such organisations since 1995; so, we appreciate just what benefits impactful people can bring.

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