Ron Vachris named new CEO, effective January 1
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. chief executive officer Craig Jelinek intends to step down from that role, effective January 1, 2024.
The Board of Directors has elected Ron Vachris, who has served as president and chief operating officer since February 2022, to succeed Jelinek as CEO, while continuing to serve as president. The company said that the two executives have worked hand-in-hand in the twenty-one months since Vachris was named to the president and COO role, as well as for many years before that. This is the culmination of the long-standing succession plan that Jelinek had discussed with the board, according to the company, which notes that Jelinek will remain with Costco through April 2024, serving in an advisory role and assisting with the transition. He will also continue to serve on the board of directors and will stand for reelection at the January 2024 annual meeting.
Vachris is a Costco veteran, with over forty years of service to the Company, starting as a forklift driver, and subsequently serving in every major role related to Costco’s business operations and merchandising activities.
“Costco has a very strong culture and a deep bench of management talent,” Jelinek said. “I have total confidence in Ron and feel that we are fortunate as a company to have an executive of his caliber to succeed me.”
Costco also announced Wednesday that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend on Costco common stock of $1.02 per share. The quarterly dividend is payable on November 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 3.
Costco currently operates 861 warehouse clubs, including 591 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 33 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 15 in Australia, 14 in Taiwan, five in China, four in Spain, two in France, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.