Costco Elevates Vachris to COO, Board in Sign of Succession Plan

Costco Wholesale Corp. promoted longtime executive Ron Vachris to the role of president and chief operating officer, signaling a succession plan for Chief Executive Officer Craig Jelinek. 

The promotion took effect Feb. 2 and Vachris, 56, is also joining the board of directors in a newly created vacancy, Costco said in a regulatory filing Thursday. In addition, he will take over the title of president from Jelinek, 69. Vachris had served as COO of merchandising since 2016 and in other roles at the membership-based retailer starting in 2010. 

Vachris’s elevation positions him as a leading candidate to succeed Jelinek, who recently passed the 10-year mark as CEO of Costco and had served as president and COO before taking the helm. During his tenure, the Issaquah, Washington-based company has posted an annualized total return of 23%, outpacing the 14% gain of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

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