Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$150 Million
$800 Thousand
Aug 8, 1952 (71 years old)
California, U.S.
💰 Compare Craig Jelinek's Net Worth

What is Craig Jelinek's net worth and salary?

Craig Jelinek is an American businessman who has a net worth of $150 million. Craig Jelinek earned his fortune thanks to a long career at discount club Costco. Craig is the current CEO of Costco, a role he ascended to in 2012 upon the retirement of company co-founder Jim Sinegal. As of this writing, Craig is Costco's largest declared individual stock holder. He owns 333,000 shares of Costco today, which is roughly 0.08% of the company's total shares outstanding. More info on his stock holdings in the next paragraph.

Costco Stock Holdings

As of this writing, Craig owns 333,000 shares of Costco. In April 2022 when Costco stock briefly hit $600 per share, that stake was worth $200 million. In recent years the stake's value has fluctuated between $100 and $150 million.


Craig Jelinek's base salary is $800,000. He also earns additional money in the form of bonuses and stock grants. For example, in 2018 he earned $800,000 in base salary, $97,000 in bonus, $6.3 million in stock grants and $200,000 in retirement contributions. His predecessor, Jim Sinegal typically earned $350,000 in base salary but $3-4 million in total compensation when bonuses and stock awards were included.

Creative Commons


Walter Craig Jelinek was born in California in August 1952. He graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1970 then enrolled at San Diego State University where he graduated in 1975. His future Costco mentor Jim Sinegal also attended SDSU, having graduated in 1959.

One of Craig's first job's out of school was at FedMart, a chain of discount department stores. Coincidentally, Jim Sinegal was also an alum of FedMart, having worked there as a bagger during college. FedMart was founded by an entrepreneur named Sol Price. In 1975, the year Craig graduated from SDSU, Sol Price was forced out of FedMart by the company's Board of Directors. A year later he founded Price Club, which is generally considered to be the world's first major bulk discount warehouse club concept.

While this was going on, Craig Jelinek was working for grocery chain Lucky Stores.

  • Price Club went public in 1980.
  • Costco was founded in 1983.
  • Craig went to work at Costco in 1984.
  • His early title was manager of warehouse operations.
  • Costco went public in 1985.
  • The two companies merged in 1993 and became PriceCostco.
  • In 1997 all stores were rebranded as Costco.
  • In 2004 Craig was promoted to Costco's head of operations and merchandising.
  • In 2012 Craig Jelinek became CEO of Costco.

Costco was the second largest retailer in the world in 2015 and by 2016 it was the world's largest retailer of organic foods, choice and prime beef, wine, and rotisserie chicken.

In 2022 Costco generated $222 billion in revenue.

Hot Dog Quote

Costco has famously kept the price of hot dogs from its restaurants locked at $1.50 even as inflation raised the prices of many other products. According to legend, one day Craig Jelinek approached CEO Jim Sinegal and complained that the company was losing money on every hot dog it sold.

Here's how the conversation allegedly went, according to an interview with Jelinek:

Jelinek: "I came to (Sinegal) once and I said, 'Jim, we can't sell this hot dog for a buck fifty. We are losing our rear ends.'"

Sinegal: "If you raise the price of the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out."

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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