Costco’s long-time COO, Dick DiCerchio, has announced that he will be retiring from Costco June 4, 2010. Dick DiCerchio and Jim Sinegal met while they both worked at FedMart, later work together at Price Club too. When Jim Sinegal and Jeff Brotman were in the very early stages of opening Costco in 1983 (not even a warehouse open yet), they hired Dick DiCerchio to be the Vice President of Operations. For 20 years he was in charge of merchandising and oversaw Costco’s membership and marketing functions. He also served in other roles, including as chief diversity officer since 2004.
“We’re going to miss him greatly, and he’s going to be a difficult person to replace,” said CEO Jim Sinegal, who has known DiCerchio for almost 50 years. “We wouldn’t be the company we are without his contributions.”
They have not found a replacement for DiCerchio yet. Thanks to DiCerchio, Jim Sinegal believes that finding people to take over his functions should be a straightforward process. “A major job of any good executive is to be continually bringing in people and going through the succession planning process, and he’s done as much with the development of people as anybody in our company,” Sinegal said.