- Costco announced Tuesday that Richard Galanti is leaving the company after nearly 40 years as its CFO, effective March 15.
- The club retailer has appointed Gary Millerchip, previously Kroger’s CFO, as Galanti’s successor.
- Millerchip brings 15 years of experience at Kroger as well as more than 20 years in banking to the C-suite role.
Costco is losing a C-suite veteran yet gaining a longtime Kroger executive.
Galanti will remain with the company through January 2025 in an advisory role during Millerchip’s transition and will continue to serve on its board of directors.
Galanti has served as Costco’s CFO since 1985, its executive vice president and CFO since October 1993 and has been on the company’s board since the start of 1995.
“Richard has made innumerable and invaluable contributions to its success,” Costco CEO Ron Vachris said in a statement. “He is widely known, admired, and respected among our shareholders, employees, business partners, and others. We express our deepest gratitude for his long and loyal service.”
Millerchip left Kroger at a pivotal moment in the grocery company’s history as it looks to consummate its proposed merger with Albertsons in the face of powerful opposition from labor groups, politicians and others bent on undoing the combination. Kroger and Albertsons had expected to complete their deal early this year, but last month pushed back their timeline for the transaction until mid-2024 to allow more time for dialogue with regulators.
Millerchip’s arrival marks the second major C-suite change at Costco this year. On Jan. 1, veteran Costco executive Vachris became CEO, taking over the top job from Craig Jelinek, who retired.
Costco’s decision to hire Millerchip as finance chief continues the retailer’s carefully choreographed approach to executive succession, although its move to look outside the company for Galanti’s replacement contrasts with its decision to position an internal executive to advance to the CEO’s position.
Vachris served as president and COO of Costco for more than a year and a half before his appointment to the top job was announced in October 2023, allowing him to work alongside Jelinek as his presumptive successor before taking over as chief executive.
Jelinek is slated to stay on in an advisory role until April to assist Vachris. Similarly, Galanti — who is well known to investors as the longtime host of Costco’s quarterly earnings calls — will be on hand for an extended period as Millerchip settles into his high-profile role as Costco’s CFO.
For its first-quarter results in its fiscal year 2024, Costco reported net sales of $56.7 billion, up 6.1% from the same period a year ago. U.S. comparable store sales for that quarter were up 2.6% year-over-year, excluding impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange.
Costco currently operates 874 warehouses globally, including 602 in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Sam Silverstein contributed reporting.