ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. has named Ron Vachris president and chief operating officer. Vachris, 56, previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer, merchandising, a position he was named to in June 2016.
Vachris succeeds Craig Jelinek in role of president, while Jelinek remains chief executive officer and a member of the company’s board of directors.
According to Costco’s 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 3, the move became effective on February 2. In addition to being named president and COO of the company, Vachris was also elected as a director to fill a newly-created vacancy on Costco’s board.
Vachris started his retail career in 1982 with Price Co., and joined Costco after that company’s merger with Price Co. in 1993. His previous roles at Costco included senior vice president and general manager of the Northwest Region, from 2010 to July 2015, and senior vice president, real estate development, from August 2015 to June 2016.
The promotion of Vachris is seen as possibly indicating a succession plan for Costco. Jelinek himself was named president and COO of Costco in February 2010, at which point Jim Sinegal relinquished the title of president but remained CEO. Jelinek, succeeded Sinegal as CEO in 2012.