Costco CEO Craig Jelinek to step down Jan. 1. COO Ron Vachris will take over

A Costco Wholesale warehouse signal is seen exterior a retailer in Silver Spring, Maryland, on Aug. 5, 2023.

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images

Costco‘s longtime CEO Craig Jelinek is stepping down from the corporate after the warehouse membership’s spree of pandemic- and inflation-fueled progress.

The firm mentioned Wednesday that Ron Vachris, the corporate’s chief working officer, will change him. The change will take impact Jan. 1.

In a information launch, Costco mentioned the 2 executives have labored collectively over almost the previous two years. It described the transfer as “the fruits of the long-standing succession plan.”

Shares had been flat on the information in after-hours buying and selling. So far this yr, the corporate’s inventory has shot up 26%, outperforming each the good points of the S&P 500 and most different publicly traded retailers.

Costco has benefited from gross sales progress, particularly from prospects who pantry-loaded and cooked extra through the Covid-19 pandemic, and extra lately, sought reduction from inflated grocery and gasoline costs. Warehouse golf equipment, together with rival Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, have additionally gotten a lift from millennials transferring to the suburbs.

Over the previous yr, the retailer’s gross sales have largely held up, although it has seen a pullback in some discretionary classes akin to jewellery and electronics. In the latest fiscal quarter, which ended early September, shoppers visited more but spent less.

Costco’s common transaction quantity within the quarter dropped almost 4.5% within the U.S., whilst site visitors rose 5% on a year-over-year foundation.

Vachris, the incoming CEO, started his profession at Costco as a forklift driver. He has been on the firm for greater than 40 years.

Jelinek has been on the helm of the warehouse membership since January 2012. He will keep at Costco by April in an advisory position. He additionally plans to stay on the board of administrators, the corporate mentioned.

Separately, the corporate mentioned on Wednesday that its board has permitted a quarterly money dividend on Costco frequent inventory of $1.02 per share that will be paid in mid-November.

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