Longtime Costco CEO Jim Sinegal announces retirement
August 31, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31, 2011
Jim Sinegal, a Costco cofounder and the Issaquah-based company’s longtime CEO, said Wednesday he plans to retire in January.
Costco’s board elected Craig Jelinek, president and chief operating officer, as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1.
Costco employs more people — about 2,700 at the corporate headquarters and flagship warehouse — than any other business in Issaquah.
“Costco has a very strong culture and a deep bench of management talent,” Sinegal said in a statement. “I have total confidence in Craig’s ability to handle his new responsibilities and feel we are fortunate as a company to have an executive of his caliber to succeed me as chief executive of Costco.”
The board selected Jelinek as president and chief operating officer in February 2010, and established the Office of the President to coordinate on major issues. Jelinek, Sinegal and board Chairman Jeff Brotman, a Costco cofounder, worked together in the role.
Jelinek started as a warehouse manager in 1984 and subsequently served in every major role related to the company’s operations and merchandising activities.
Sinegal intends to remain with Costco through January 2013 to advise and assist Jelinek during the transition. The outgoing CEO also plans to remain on the company’s board.