Costco CEO earns accolades

CHICAGO — Investment research firm Morningstar has named the outgoing CEO of Costco Wholesale as its 2011 CEO of the Year, the company said Wednesday.

Costco CEO Jim Sinegal, who retired on New Year's Day, received the recognition for what Morningstar called his "exemplary corporate stewardship, independent thinking" and creating "lasting value for shareholders."

"This year's nominees have each added intrinsic value to the companies they run," Morningstar chief equities strategist and editor Paul Larson said. "James Sinegal, who has served as CEO since co-founding Costco in 1983, has created and maintained value for all company stakeholders during his tenure."

The retailer announced Sinegal's plan to step down in September, with COO Craig Jelinek replacing him.