Hamilton “Tony” E. James, president and chief operating officer of The Blackstone Group investment firm, has been elected as Costco’s new board chairman, following the death earlier this month of company co-founder and chairman Jeff Brotman.

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Hamilton “Tony” E. James, president and chief operating officer of The Blackstone Group investment firm, has been elected as Costco’s new board chairman, following the death earlier this month of company co-founder and chairman Jeff Brotman.

James has been a Costco board director since 1988 and was its lead independent director since 2005, the Issaquah-based retailer said.

He previously also served as an executive board member and chairman of Global Investment Banking and Private Equity for Credit Suisse First Boston , and chairman of The Banking Group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities, according to Costco.