New leadership era begins at Costco
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco’s legendary co-founder Jim Sinegal is stepping down as CEO.
He plans to retire effective Jan. 1, at which time current president and COO Craig Jelinek will assume the top job. The company telegraphed the move back in February 2010 when Jelinek, 58, was given his current responsibilities so analysts took the news in stride when it was officially announced Thursday morning in conjunction with the release of sales results for the month, quarter and fiscal year ended Aug. 28. Sinegal, 75, and Jelinek have worked closely together during the past 18 months, according to the company, and Costco co-founder Jeffrey Brotman, 68, will continue to serve as chairman.
The transition isn’t expected to result in any type of new strategic direction due to the fact that it is being made from a position of strength with Costco reporting some of its best financial results in years. In addition, Jelinek is a 28-year Costco veteran steeped in the company’s ways who began his Costco career as a warehouse manager in 1984, the year after Sinegal and Brotman founded the company. He has since served in every major role related to Costco’s business operations, most notably as EVP merchandising from 2004 until 2010, when he was given his current responsibilities and named to the Costco board. To further ensure a smooth transition, Sinegal will remain with Costco in an advisory capacity through January 2013 and in all likelihood will continue to serve on the company’s board as he will stand for reelection at the January 2012 shareholders’ meeting.
“I have total confidence in Craig’s ability to handle his new responsibilities and feel we are fortunate as a company to have an executive of his caliber to succeed me as chief executive of Costco,” Sinegal said in a prepared statement.
News of the leadership transition overshadowed Costco’s otherwise solid sales results for August and its fiscal year ended Aug. 28. The company said sales for the month increased 17% to $6.9 billion for the four-week period ended Aug. 28. Results were aided by inclusion of sales from a Mexican joint venture without which the sales gain would have been 14%. For the year, sales increased 14% to $87 billion or by a less 11% if Mexican joint venture results are excluded.
Same-store sales for August, excluding gas, rose 6% in the United States. For the quarter and the full year comps increased 6% and 5%, respectively. Internationally, same-store sales on a constant currency basis and excluding gas increased 11% in August and 10% for the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal year. The company plans to report fourth quarter and fiscal year results on Oct. 5.
Costco ended its year with a total of 592 clubs, including 429 in the U.S., 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, nine in Japan, seven in Korea, eight in Taiwan and three in Australia.
Unilever completes sale of Alberto VO5 brand in U.S., Rave brand globally
LONDON and ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Unilever announced on Wednesday that it has completed the sale of the Alberto VO5 brand in the United States and Puerto Rico and the Rave brand globally to private equity firm Brynwood Partners, following approval by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Terms were not disclosed.
Outside the United States and Puerto Rico, the Alberto VO5 brand will remain in Unilever’s portfolio.
The U.S. Department of Justice had required the divestiture in connection with Unilever’s $3.7 billion acquisition of the Alberto Culver, which was completed May 10.
CVS/pharmacy raises $4.3M for ALS research in 10th annual fundraising campaign
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Country music star Ty Herndon and former NFL player Kevin Turner will join amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients Thursday evening at Fenway Park to celebrate the success of CVS/pharmacy’s annual in-store fundraising campaign to support the fight against ALS.
The $4.3 million generated by this year’s campaign brings the total amount raised by CVS/pharmacy colleagues and customers for ALS research to more than $27 million.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a disorder in which there is progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord leading to paralysis and death, typically within three to five years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects 25,000 Americans, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Three-of-the-4 men gathering at Fenway prior to the baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees share a diagnosis of ALS: Turner, who played eight seasons in the NFL for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles throughout the 1990s; Treg Charlton, a regional director of real estate for CVS Caremark; and Barry Winovich, who is Charlton’s friend since elementary school.
Grammy-nominated country music star Herndon joins the group as celebrity sponsor — along with Turner — of the CVS/pharmacy "Researching a Cure" fundraising campaign. Charlton and Winovich are co-chairs of the campaign.
All four men will participate in pregame traditions to mark funds raised by the campaign, including an on-field check presentation to ALS Therapy Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing ALS research; a ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Charlton; and the singing of the National Anthem by Herndon whose song "Journey On" is the official song of the Kevin Turner Foundation and the CVS/pharmacy "Researching a Cure" fundraising campaign.
This year’s CVS/pharmacy in-store "Researching a Cure" campaign ran from June 5 through June 25. Those still interested in helping to donate $5 to ALS research can do so by texting KICKALS to 20222.