Costco Wholesale Corporation announced today that Craig Jelinek has confirmed his intention to step down as Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2024. The Board of Directors has elected Ron Vachris, President and Chief Operating Officer since February 2022, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Jelinek and Vachris have worked hand-in-hand during the last 21 months in Vachris’s role as President and for many years before that. This is the culmination of the long-standing succession plan that Jelinek has discussed with the Board.
Vachris is a Costco veteran, with more than 40 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,” said Jelinek. “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.”
Jelinek will remain with Costco through April 2024, serving in an advisory role and assisting Vachris during the transition. Jelinek will also continue to serve on the Board of Directors and will stand for reelection at the January 2024 annual meeting.
The Company also announced today 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 Nov. 17, 2023, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 3, 2023.
Costco currently operates 861 warehouses, 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 US, Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.