Maker of bleach and consumer goods

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1221 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
Employees: 8,300
CEO: Donald Knauss
Stock Symbol: CLX


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Clorox is a leading maker of bleach and consumer goods. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Green Works natural home care products, Pine-Sol cleaners, Poett® home care products, Fresh Step cat litter, Kingsford® charcoal, Hidden Valley and K C Masterpiece dressings and sauces, Brita water-filtration products, Glad bags and wraps and containers, and Burt’s Bees natural personal care products.

The company manufactures products in 25 countries and markets them in more than 100 countries.

In fiscal 2010, sales were $5.53 billion. Net earnings for the year were $603 million.


On May 3, 1913, five California entrepreneurs invested $100 apiece to set up America's first commercial-scale liquid bleach factory, which they located in Oakland, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. They were an unlikely group to embark on such an enterprise: a banker; a purveyor of wood and coal; a bookkeeper; a lawyer; and a miner, the only one of the five with any practical knowledge of chemistry.

Their ambitious plan was to convert the brine available in abundance from the nearby salt ponds of San Francisco Bay into sodium hypochlorite bleach, using a sophisticated and technologically demanding process of electrolysis. They called their new undertaking the Electro-Alkaline Company.

In August 1913, the company acquired a plant site in Oakland for which the directors agreed to pay $3,000. During its outfitting, an engineer for an equipment supplier, Abel M. Hamblet, suggested a name for the new product. From the words "chlorine" and "sodium hydroxide," which in combination form the bleach's active ingredient, he proposed the amalgam "Clorox." In 1914, they named their product Clorox bleach.

Clorox immediately gained popularity as an effective and reliable domestic laundry aid, stain remover, deodorant and disinfectant.

The company was bought by giant Procter & Gamble in 1957 but the deal was challenged by the Federal Trade Commission as a monopoly on household cleaners. The Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that Procter & Gamble must sell Clorox so it became an independent company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Clorox acquired Burt's Bees on Nov. 30, 2007 for $925 million.



* Flexible work options such as job-sharing, telecommuting and flextime, where resources, performance and job requirements permit. Our job-share program is unique in that participants are eligible for full medical, dental and vision benefits, whereas many employers require a minimum work schedule of 30 hours per week to be eligible for full-time benefits.
* Half-day workdays at many of our North American locations on Fridays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, to ease the commute and help employees get an early start on the weekend.
* Variety of other lifestyle benefits including adoption reimbursement, discounts on parking and mass transit, and an employee assistance program that provides confidential counseling for personal problems.

Disability and Life Insurance

* Coverage in a range of areas including life, accidental death and dismemberment, disability and business-travel accident insurance. Under most plans, Clorox pays the cost of coverage; however, employee enrollment and contributions are required in some cases.


* Cash balance pension plan - Each quarter, employees receive a credit equal to 3 percent of their pay, plus interest. Employees are fully vested after five years.
* 401(k) plan with auto-enrollment - Allows employees to set aside a portion of their current income on a pretax basis every month. After one year of service, the company matches a portion of employees' contributions.
* Value sharing - Each year, the company may contribute funds, as determined by plan provisions, to a separate, tax-deferred account. Employees own 34 percent after three years, 66 percent after four years and are fully vested after five years.
* Investment - Advisor service to help employees manage their retirement-plan assets.

Rewards and Recognition

* Incentive-compensation program that rewards eligible employees for individual performance and for supporting the company's goals. In addition, annual awards are given to outstanding employees in several areas such as marketing, sales and finance.

Updated March 3, 2011