Costco Wholesale Corp. said Chief Executive Officer Craig Jelinek will step down after over a decade at the helm during which shares and revenue soared at the warehouse club retailer.
(Bloomberg) — Costco Wholesale Corp. said Chief Executive Officer Craig Jelinek will step down after over a decade at the helm during which shares and revenue soared at the warehouse club retailer.
He’ll be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Ron Vachris, who was elevated to the COO role in February 2022 and was considered a leading candidate for the CEO job. He started at the company 40 years ago as a forklift driver and has subsequently served “in every major role related to Costco’s business operations and merchandising activities,” Costco said in a statement.
Jelinek has led Costco since 2012, and before that served as president and COO. The company’s shares have grown by more than 500% over his tenure, and revenue has more than doubled.
Jelinek will remain with Costco through April, serving in an advisory role and helping with the CEO transition. He will also continue to serve on the board, and stands for reelection at the January 2024 annual meeting, the company said.
Sales at Costco soared during the pandemic, and maintained robust results even as inflation impacted consumer shopping habits, thanks to a customer base that’s more affluent than that of competitors. That said, the pace of same-store sales growth has slowed this year as shoppers prioritize travel and entertainment over discretionary items.
Shares fell by less than 1% in late Wednesday trading in New York. Costco stock has gained 26% for the year to date.
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