Retail giant Costco recently announced that long-time CEO Craig Jelinek will step down at the end of this year. He will be replaced on January 1 by Ron Vachris, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer. More than 40 years of experience.
However, why is the personnel news of Ron Vachris taking over as CEO attracting attention? Part of the reason is,Vachris will become Costco’s third CEO. Jelinek said in a statement that Costco itself has a very strong culture and management talents. He has full confidence in Vachris and is very sure of his abilities. In addition, his career advancement journey is also very eye-catching.
Regarding the incoming Costco CEO, you can know him from 4 aspects:
1. He took an unconventional path to promotion
Vachris, 58, may be the employee who has held the most diverse positions at Costco.He started at the bottom of Costco as a push truck driver. In 1982, Vachris started working as a cashier at Price Club, the warehouse chain that merged with Costco in 1993.
Over the next 30 years, he rose through the ranks in sales and operations. Due to his long-term experience at Costco, he has a comprehensive understanding of the company’s business and is qualified to join the board of directors, becoming the youngest member of the board of directors.
During Vachris’ career, Costco has grown from zero to more than 860 warehouses around the world, with annual revenue of $242.3 billion, nearly 128 million membership cards and a market capitalization of $254 billion.
2. His promotion is part of Costco’s long-planned succession plan
Since being named president and chief operating officer in February 2022, Vachris has been a favorite to succeed Jelinek on the roster. A personnel press release issued at the time stated that Vachris and Jenilek had more than 20 years of working experience together, and Vachris’ promotion to president and chief operating officer was part of an internal “long-term succession plan.”
3. He breaks the typical mold of CEOs usually having MBAs
In 1982, Vachris was majoring in business at a community college in Arizona, while working as a forklift driver at Price Club, the predecessor of Costco. Soon after, he was promoted to assistant general manager of Price Club’s first store in Colorado in 1989 and two years later was named general manager of the Denver region.
4. He was a key figure in the Costco merger.
When Price Club and Costco merged in 1993, Vachris was assigned to oversee the company’s expansion into Arizona. “Fast Company” pointed out that Vachris played an important role in the merger and expansion of the two stores.
Moving up the ranks, Vachris became senior vice president and general manager of Costco’s Northwest region from 2010 to 2015. He subsequently served as senior vice president of real estate development from 2015 to 2016, and became executive chief operating officer of the sales department in 2016. In 2022, he joined the board of directors and became the company’s No. 2 person.
Vachris will be paid $11.5 million, more than his predecessor
According to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Vachris holds 22,212 shares of Costco stock, worth approximately $12.4 million; in 2024, Vachris’ compensation will be higher, reaching a total compensation of $11.5 million, including $1.15 million base salary, $10.4 million in stock. This is another step up from Jelinek’s total compensation of $9.9 million in 2022.
However, media reports said that when Vachris took over, Costco was facing the test of high inflation continuing to squeeze consumer spending. It is worth continuing to observe how the newly appointed CEO will lead Costco in the future.
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Original source: He is the new Costco CEO! From forklift driver to CEO, who is Ron Vachris?