Get to Know Craig Jelinek, Costco’s President

April 19th, 2011 · 3 Comments

It’s been about a year since Craig Jelinek assumed the role of President at Costco, as well as continuing to act as Chief Operating Officer.   And he seems to be doing a good job thus far.  There was an article about him in The Seattle Times recently that also shed a little more light on his personality too.   I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief because he seems funny, self-deprecating, and very much in line with Jim Sinegal on how to continue to make Costco great.  He seems every bit as humble and low-key as Jim Sinegal and I think that is a great sign.

Craig Jelinek has been part of the Costco team since 1984 and had a variety of roles since then.  But last year he took over as President from Jim Sinegal.  There is a lot of speculation that this was the first move in a succession plan for Costco, for that inevitable day when Jim Sinegal decides to retire.  For the past year, Jelinek and Sinegal have been traveling together to attend all of the new store openings and they seem to have a lot in common, including their appreciation for the $1.50 Costco hot dog deal.

A Wall Street analyst has a great quote in the article about the focus of the Costco Executive team on low margins and prices and treating employees fairly:

“Costco has a very long-term view when it comes to low prices and margins, as well as the way it treats employees. That’s rare”, says David Schick, of Stifel Nicolaus, but “it doesn’t seem that the company spends a lot of time worrying about whether that’s right or not; they’re convinced that’s right based on their track record.”

The most surprising bit of information in the whole article though, had to be about Costco’s plans to open warehouses in Paris and Madrid.  Seriously, that totally shocked and amazed me.  I would never, ever, ever have thought that Paris would have been even a remote possibility for a Costco warehouse.   So, we’ll all have to stay tuned for news on the progress of opening these new stores in Europe.

Read the entire article here:


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3 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Ed Kandefer // 2014.10.01 at 2:21 pm

    This is about the store in Augusta Ga.
    First I Love Costco nominally if Costco doesn’t have it I do not need it.
    OMG this is the worst Costco I have ever been in!!!!

    The store is a virtual Ghost Town there is very few customers in it the most I have seen is 2 maybe 3 registers going at one time, you pull right up to the gas pumps and fill up

    !!! OMG are you kidding. This Management is the worst!!!!

    From the Meat dept to the Produce to the Bakery to the return counter even the people at the front door! I saw one of the IN Door Greeters That was almost ready to get into a Fight with someone coming in. This store has the worst product selection I have ever seen, Even the other people I talk to in the store that are From Fort Gordon, The Army Base here think its the worst, as one of this lady’s children said they do not have anything good !!
    When I asked one of the managers the other day why don’t you have the 24 pack of the Oatmeal cookies that you bake here and His answer was that the buyers cycle different products through and that it was probably a seasonal thing. I told him that was JUST Stupid and that out of all the Costco’s I Have been in I have never seen that and the buyers had nothing to do with your own product that you bake and that they were only buying the multi pack that had the Oatmeal cookies, Such a dumb response.

    I had put in numerous request for 565033 toilet tissue and that I didn’t not want to drive to Atlanta to buy this item and received a similar response were a small Costco and we don’t have a spot for it one of them told me it wasn’t available there until I showed him my receipt from Atalanta and he just said he would check into it. Very few storage containers, No Tri trip Meat, Hardly any Bread, No Head Lettuce, Poor product merchandising, I have never thought about going to Sams Club, but so many people here have Sams memberships. I finally went and I felt like I was in a Costco from the west coast and loaded with people and products that you sell in regular Costco’s.

    Its not just the products its they just don’t care about the company I have been in retail sales and manufacturing for years, you have to know just from the Numbers.

    If you have the ability to see inside the store look at the Angry faces on the people at the Return counter some times and the amount of time people have to wait not because there are 20 people in line but from either not enough people or the want to take care of customers, they even refuse to give a receipt when you return something.
    Are you kidding no one does that.

    I hate to say this because I love Costco But it would be better to close this store that to continue to loose money or bring in some Managers from better stores and fix the bleed that I know you have to have with the way this store is being run!!!!!

  2. 2 Zack Marti // 2014.03.26 at 6:25 pm

    I have worked in retail since I was 16 years old for a grand total of 12 years. For the last 8 years I have worked my way up from Cashier to Customer Service Manager at WalMart. I have always disliked the way WalMart has treated their employees from the poor salaries and benefits to the basic you give us 110% or else attitude. My dissatisfaction came to a head when I was a new Assistant Manager just out of training and I was continually threatened by CO Manager with getting “Coached”. Mind you I was working 12 hour shifts, usually shorthanded and still trying to learn procedures. I got a good review with very few issues and still it wasn’t good enough! I put in for a transfer which they didn’t want to give me but finally I was out of that particular store. I know that I am an excellent employee and I would like to be able to show this to Costco Management. I have tried over and over again to get an interview online with no success! Please if you can help let me know, asap. Thank you.

  3. 3 michael kay canales // 2013.01.28 at 3:48 pm

    When we lived in Hawaii, we would drive passed Sam’s Club enroute to Costco. Now that we live in Michigan Costco is more the 1 hour away. Please please please give us a COSTCO closer to home. I live in battle creek. I am dying to shop in Costco. I need one much much closer. I would come work for free. Anything just bring one much closer to me. Again Please.
    This does not to be published.

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