The Costco board of directors has named Ron Vachris president and COO, a move that might be the first step toward future executive transition at the company.
Vachris will succeed Craig Jelinek as the company‘s president, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Jelinek will remain CEO and a member of the Costco board. Concurrent with his president and COO appointment, Vachris won election to the board.
Vachris was executive vice president and COO, merchandising prior to his promotion, holding that position since 2016. He previously served as senior vice president, real estate development, from August 2015 to June 2016, and senior vp, general manager, Northwest region, from 2010 to July 2015.
Simeon Gutman, a Morgan Stanley analyst, stated in a research note that, although the filing on the Varchris appointment doesn’t constitute a succession announcement, it does imply that a plan is coming together. If he does become CEO, Vachris would be the third chief executive in Costco history. He is a Price Club veteran and came to Costco in the merger between the countries. Gutman noted that Price Club had a rich merchandising history and a significant pool of organizational talent that benefited Costco in the merger.