Costco CEO Craig Jelinek Steps Down, Ron Vachris Takes Over
Costco, the members-only warehouse store, shared big news: its long-time CEO, W. Craig Jelinek, is stepping down at the end of January. Ron Vachris, who has been with Costco for over four decades and currently serves as the company’s president, will take over as the new CEO.
Jelinek has been the CEO since 2012, following one of the company’s co-founders, James Sinegal. He oversaw a period of significant growth and success for Costco. Even after stepping down as CEO, Jelinek will continue to be on Costco’s board.
Ron Vachris’s rise through the ranks at Costco is a testament to the company’s tradition of promoting from within. He started as a forklift driver and worked his way up through various management roles, gaining experience in all aspects of Costco’s business. This experience makes him well-suited to lead the company into the future.
Vachris will officially become the CEO on January 1, 2024, as part of a long-planned succession. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2022 and will take on the top leadership role next year.
Craig Jelinek will stay in an advisory role until April 2024 to ensure a smooth transition. This change comes as Costco continues to perform well with strong sales growth, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Costco recently reported strong financial results, beating market expectations for revenue and profit. The company’s membership numbers also increased by nearly 8% in the last quarter, showing its enduring popularity with consumers.
Jelinek’s departure signifies the end of an era at Costco, and many will be interested in how the company evolves under new leadership.