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Originally published December 14, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Page modified December 15, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Jim Sinegal takes pay cut in last year as Costco CEO

Jim Sinegal receives half of stock grants in fiscal 2011.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Costco Wholesale CEO Jim Sinegal took a 38 percent pay cut in fiscal 2011, earning $2.2 million compared with $3.5 million a year earlier.

His salary has remained steady for years at $350,000, and his $198,400 bonus was about the same for the fiscal year that ended in August as it was the year before.

But his stock awards were down considerably, from $3 million to $1.6 million.

"Jim requested that his restricted stock award grant be cut in half," said Costco attorney John Sullivan.

That's in contrast to a stock grant increase for Craig Jelinek, who will become CEO after Sinegal retires Dec. 31, the day before his 76th birthday.

Jelinek, 59, received a 47 percent pay hike, to $3.3 million from $2.3 million a year earlier.

His salary was $649,999 — a dollar less than the board has decided to pay him when he becomes CEO — and his bonus was $99,200, only slightly higher than the year before.

But his stock awards soared, from $1.4 million to $2.5 million.

"[Stock grants] accelerate vesting in part when the 25-year anniversary is hit, and that occurred for Craig in the fiscal year, which caused an increase in the value," Sullivan said. "Craig also received an increase in his grant [from 25,000 to 40,000 restricted stock units] associated with his promotion to president and chief operating officer."

That promotion happened in early 2010.

After Sinegal retires, he will remain at the company for a year of transition. His salary for that year will total $100,000, and he will not be eligible for a bonus, the company said in an earlier filing.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @AllisonSeattle.

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