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The Seattle Times reports this morning that when Craig Jellinek becomes CEO of Costco on January 1, he will receive an annual salary of $650,000 plus a performance bonus of up to $200,000.

According to the story, “That compares to current CEO Jim Sinegal's salary of $350,000 and bonus of $190,400 in fiscal 2010. Including stock awards and other pay, he received $3.5 million. As president and chief operating officer, Jelinek earned a salary of $635,000 plus a $95,200 bonus that year. With stock awards and other pay, he received $2.3 million.”
KC's View:
Sinegal’s salary always has been a matter of pride for both him and the company he co-founded, because he felt it made a statement about the importance of the front lines. Jellinek’s salary only seems high because it is double Sinegal’s base pay ... though it hardly seems fair to ask him to take a salary cut at the same time as he gets a promotion. This is, however, something that Costco needs to be sensitive to - cultural imperatives can be fragile, and it has to be careful not to change a long-established storyline.