After about a dozen years at the helm, Costco’s Craig Jelinek is stepping down from his role as chief executive.
The transition is set to take place on Jan. 1, with President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Vachris taking over as CEO. Jelinek will remain at Costco through April 2024 in an advisory role and will stand for reelection on the board in January, according to a statement from the company.
But not everything has remained the same. Here are some of the changes ushered in during Jelinek’s time as CEO:
Revenue growth and more warehouses
When Jelinek’s succession was announced, Costco had 592 warehouses in operation, 429 of which were in the United States. The company’s footprint has gone up 45% since then, with 861 warehouses – including 591 in the U.S. – operating today.
Jelinek has also helped increase Costco’s international presence, opening warehouses in China, Spain, France, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden.
The company’s share price has surged under Jelinek, from about $80 per share in early 2012 to over $550 today. Its share price has gone up over 25% so far this year, outperforming the benchmark S&P 500.
And revenue has more than doubled, from $99 billion in 2012 to $242.3 billion in the latest fiscal year.
Costco removed self-checkouts … then brought them back
Jelinek told Bloomberg Businessweek in 2013 that the company would be eliminating self-checkout in stores after experimenting with the technology, noting that he thought employees did the job better.
“They are great for low-volume warehouses, but we don’t want to be in the low-volume warehouse business,” he said at the time.
A new poultry complex to keep rotisserie chicken prices down
In 2019, Costco opened a $450 million poultry complex in Fremont, Nebraska, to help keep its rotisserie chicken prices at $4.99.
In a 2019 earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said the plant can process about 2 million birds a week. The plant was estimated to save Costco about 35 cents per bird in 2015, or about $35 million annually.
Membership prices went up
Membership prices are expected to jump again soon, with Galanti noting in an earnings call that “it’s a question of when, not if.” He noted that membership hikes typically take place every five to six years.
How much is Costco’s annual fee? Costco membership price increase ‘a question of when, not if,’ CFO says
Some ‒ but not all ‒ food court prices went up
Certain food court items, including the chicken bake and soda, have seen price hikes in recent months, according to Insider.
But there is one item on the menu with a price that has remained unchanged since 1985: the Costco hotdog.
During an earnings call last year, Galanti said other parts of the business should help the company keep its hotdog prices stable “forever.” And when Jelinek was asked on CNBC last year if he would raise the food court item’s price from $1.50, he had a simple answer: “No.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Costco CEO Craig Jelinek’s retirement from role signals end of an era