Jim Sinegal is the CEO and co-founder of Costco, one of the biggest retailers in the world. He started the company after discovering his passion. Sinegal worked through his career to build Costco while he stayed out of the limelight himself. He then retired from the top post in 2012. He left the company at a better place as it is recognized warehouse retail, and every successful aspect is attributed to Sinegal. While serving the company, he took very little salary compared to what a normal CEO would demand.
Sinegal early life
Sinegal was born in Pittsburg. His father worked at the coal mines while at the same time as a steelworker. He started working at a mattress store ‘fed mat’ while at 18. Sinegal joined San Diego State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. At the time of his graduation, he was still working at Fed Mat. He rose to ranks to become the company’s executive vice president in the merchandising department. He then left Fed-Mat to launch another warehouse store, Price Club. The company concentrated on selling its shares to small businesses.
While at Price Club, Sinegal served as the vice president to merchandising and distribution. He also dealt with distribution and marketing. He developed strategic measures in merchandise and marketing.
The founding of Costco
Jeff Brotman, an attorney by trade, was the other co-founder to Costco. His inspiration came from a similar business that he saw during his visit to France. Even though the two were strangers, Brotman proposed their partnership in business. After starting Costco, the business grew tremendously, and within a year, they had opened a second location within other regions of Washington.
In 1993 Costco merged with their rivals Price Club to form the current chain.
While serving Costco
Sinegal was recognized as a leader of fewer pretenses, disciplined, and full of integrity. Sinegal once paid back employees after noticing the company had been paying 88% 0f their medical bills instead of the agreed 90%.
Sinegal invented several ways in Costco to keep the costs low. Signet was passionate about saving the companies money. He prevented Costco from increasing their prices. Even though the customers might have been paying more elsewhere, he maintained the 14% to 15% rates.
The minimal wages
As one of the top CEOs, it would be hard to believe that Sinegal only bagged $350,000 during Costco’s work term. This is much lower than the minimum wage for a CEO, estimated at $1million.
Even though he received minimal wages, Costco has helped him become wealthy. According to reports, his net worth was estimated to be $120 million in 2005. Most of his wealth coming from the shares he holds in the company. By the year 2018, this had risen to $263 million. The Sinegal office is a clear reflection of his modesty; it has simple furniture, which is unexpected for a CEO. It’s also a surprise that he answers his phone calls.