Ball retires from Costco but stays on as FWD chairman

Costco UK chief Francis Ball has announced plans to retire in August, and will be replaced by Steve Papas who is currently in charge of setting up Costco’s operation in Australia.

Ball will continue in his role as chairman of the FWD, however, as the FWD Council unanimously endorsed his offer to continue through to the FWD Annual Conference next April.

He said the decision to leave Costco had been very difficult to make because he had enjoyed his 13 years with the company, and added: “It has been a huge privilege to be in charge since August 2004.”

Ball said he wanted to leave while he was still able to take on new challenges, and he was currently considering a variety of other offers such as non executive roles.

Papas is an American, and has previously been in charge of Costco’s operations in South Korea and Taiwan.

Ball said he knew Papas well, from monthly Costco country MD meetings, and was very pleased he would be taking over.

Ball has been with Costco UK since its formation in autumn 1993. He was previously chief executive of Price Club UK, and became operations director of Costco UK when the two parent companies, Costco and Price Club in the US, merged. He became trading director 18 months later and was appointed managing director in 2004.

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