February 8, 2010, 12:00 AM

Costco names a president and chief operating officer

Costco Wholesale Corp. has named Craig Jelinek the retailer’s new president and chief operating officer. Analysts say the move signals a succession plan for the company’s CEO Jim Sinegal.

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Costco Wholesale Corp. has named Craig Jelinek the retailer’s new president and chief operating officer and moved him into a new office of the president that also includes other top executives.

Jelinek previously worked as Costco’s executive vice president in charge of merchandising. Prior to that, he held various management positions in warehouse operations for Costco, No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name). He has worked at Costco for 25 years.

 

Jelinek also joins the board of directors.

 

Other office of the president executives include CEO and company co-founder Jim Sinegal, board chairman Jeff Brotman and senior executive Vice President Dick DiCerchio. “The four will coordinate on major company matters,” Costco says.

 

The elevation of Jelinek and creation of the office of the president may signal a succession plan for Sinegal, who is 74. "Given Costco’s long-standing policy of promotion from within, it is nearly certain that the successor to Sinegal will come from within Costco, and will very likely have a long tenure and history that embodies the company`s somewhat unique culture and operating principles," Colin McGranahan, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. Inc., wrote in a research note last week.

 

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