Costco founding officer Robert Craves dies at 72
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Robert Craves, a founding officer of Costco, died last week shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, The Seattle Times reported. He was 72.
Craves helped launch the warehouse club after working with Jim Sinegal, another Costco founder and former CEO, at a home-improvement business in California, The Seattle Times reported. Sinegal hired Craves as a merchandise manger at that company in the late 1970s and Craves later moved to Seattle. In 1983, Costco opened its first warehouse and became the first company ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in less than six years.
In 1993, Costco merged with Price Club and the combined company operated under the name PriceCostco. The company resumed the Costco name in 1997.
Craves wore many hats at Costco, serving as SVP of membership, marketing and community outreach until he retired in 2000. After his retirement, Craves co-founded the College Success Foundation in 2000 to provide college scholarships and mentoring to low-income, high-potential students.
Over the years, the foundation has helped thousands of low-income and minority students graduate from college. By the end of 2013, 3,818 CSF scholars had earned bachelor’s degrees, with 5,000 more still attending college. Craves retired as the foundation’s CEO in September 2013 and remained as a member of the CSF board.
“Bob has left a very tall and proud legacy for all of us to continue,” said former Washington State Gov. Gary Locke. “His efforts have inspired and uplifted a generation of young people to help secure a brighter future — not just for them, but for all of us. This is a very sad day for higher education in our state.”
Murad names chief marketing officer
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Skin care company Murad has hired Elizabeth Ashmun as chief marketing officer, overseeing all global marketing including brand development, advertising, public relations, creative and education, for products, services and new market opportunities.
Ashmun will report to Richard Murad, global GM. She comes to Murad from Kate Somerville with more than 17 years of experience in developing and implementing strategic business plans for brand management. Most recently, Ashmun was VP of global marketing at Kate Somerville, where she helped the company achieve double-digit growth across all retail channels and expand internationally into Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Her experience also includes running the sugar confectionary domestic business at Nestlé and managing a portfolio of the company’s brands including SweeTARTS, Laffy Taffy, Nerds, Spree and Nips.