10 Quotes To Prove Costco Founder James Sinegal Might Have Been The World's Greatest CEO | Exploring Markets

10 Quotes To Prove Costco Founder James Sinegal Might Have Been The World's Greatest CEO

James Sinegal is the co-founder, and former CEO of Costco who left behind a remarkable set of milestones.

One of his achievements was paying all of his employees throughout the years a fair wage while also giving them spectacular access to healthcare. Some full-time cashiers at Costco make $49,000/year. 89% of Costco employees are eligible for benefits.

Today, Costco is a company worth $50 billion. Had you bought stock at its IPO in the early 1980s, you would be up more than 12,000%. Sinegal accomplished all of this while paying some of the best wages in the industry.

Here are 10 quotes from Sinegal about business, America, and the working class. They show that Sinegal was a brilliant CEO who cared deeply about his company and country:
  1. "Our attitude has always been that if you hire good people and provide good wages and good jobs and more than that – if you provide careers – that good things will happen to your company. I don't see what’s wrong with an employee earning enough to be able to buy a house or have a health plan for the family." - James Sinegal
  2. "Obscene salaries (for CEOs) send the wrong message through a company. The message is that all brilliance emanates from the top; that the worker on the floor of the store or the factory is insignificant." - James Sinegal
  3. "Wall Street is in the business of making money between now and next Tuesday. We're in the business of building an organization, an institution that we hope will be here 50 years from now." - James Sinegal
  4. "We're not kamikaze pilots. We want to do things in a sensible fashion. If we can speed up our growth, without outdistancing our management team, and provide a quality product, then we will do so. Aside from the quality issues and wanting to grow the business in a sensible fashion, we don't have any grand scheme that says, for example, that we have to be in Latin America by the year 2015 or have 1000 Costco's in ten years." - James Sinegal
  5. "I think the biggest single thing that causes difficulty in the business world is the short-term view. We become obsessed with it. But it forces bad decisions." - James Sinegal
  6. "You destroy the initiative of the working people if they don't feel they have a fighting chance to be a part of the American Dream." - James Sinegal
  7. "One of the strengths of our nation has always been a strong middle class who could afford their own homes and send their children to school." - James Sinegal
  8. "If somehow a proclamation were made that C.E.O.'s could only make a maximum of $300,000 a year, you would not have any shortage of very qualified men and women seeking the jobs." - James Sinegal
  9. "You don't have a very motivated working class, it starts to affect the dynamics of the economy. If workers are disenchanted and disenfranchised, productivity losses will go along with that." - James Sinegal
  10. "If you've got to work for the rest of your life, you'd better do something you'll enjoy." - James Sinegal