No-Frills Chain Has CEO to Match

Costco's Jim Sinegal wins loyalty of his workers, customers
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2007 9:05 AM CST
Shoppers push their carts towards the exit at the Costco store in Cranberry, Pa. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – With his hot-dog lunches, second-hand desk, and disdain of ties, Jim Sinegal of Costco is not your typical Fortune 500 CEO. But the 71-year-old's steadfast devotion to the company's no-frills business plan and generosity to employees has helped make Costco a formidable player in the retail business, writes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Sinegal's down-to-earth manner meshes with the company philosophy, which is to sell  mass quantities of discount household items to its 51 million members. The chain, No. 32 on the Fortune 500 list, also pays its workers an average of $17.60 an hour, well above competitors. Sinegal shrugs off Wall Street critics. "Doesn't it make sense to have the most productive employees?" he asks.