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Jim Sinegal, the co-founder of Costco and since 1983 the CEO of the company, announced last week that he will step down from the job on January 1, and will be succeeded by Craig Jelinek, Costco’s president/COO.

Sinegal said he plans to remain on the board through January 2013 to help with the transition.
KC's View:
Not quite as momentous as Steve Jobs being replaced by Tim Cook, but in its own way this is an extraordinary retailing development. There are few senior executives who have imprinted their personalities so effectively on the companies they run, and have done so while still maintaining an almost unheard level of personal modesty. Sinegal may be almost as hard an act to follow as Jobs - his commitment to Costco’s culture and his unwillingness to bow to Wall Street’s preferences (higher prices and margins, plus lower pay and reduced benefits for employees) have made the chain a unique and compelling story over the past few decades.