The Clorox Co. Executive Chairman Donald R. Knauss has decided to retire from the company and the board, effective July 1.
Knauss served as chairman and CEO of the company from October 2006-November 2014, when he stepped into a newly created executive chairman role and Benno Dorer was appointed CEO.
“Don was an outstanding CEO for Clorox,” said Lead Director Robert Matschullat. “We’re grateful to him for his service as executive chairman. We thank Don for enabling such a smooth transition over the past seven months, and look forward to Benno’s continued leadership as CEO.”
The board of directors also has appointed George Harad as independent chair of the board, effective July 1. Matschullat will become chair of the nominating and governance committee, effective immediately, and Jeffrey Noddle will become chair of the management development and compensation committee, effective July 1.
“I’m pleased the board’s dedication to succession planning allows us to appoint such a strong and capable director as George Harad to serve as independent chair of the board,” Matschullat said.
Harad has served as a Clorox director since 2006. He was executive chairman of the board of OfficeMax Inc. (formerly Boise Cascade) from October 2004 until his retirement in June 2005. He served as chairman of the board and CEO of Boise Cascade from April 1995-October 2004. Harad previously served as a director of Dial Corp., Qwest International and U.S. West. Prior to joining Boise Cascade, Harad was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and a teaching fellow at Harvard University.
Fleischer and Williams to join board
In addition, The Clorox Co. board of directors announced the elections of Spencer C. Fleischer and Christopher J. Williams to the board, effective July 1.
Fleischer is co-CEO and president of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe (FFL). Before co-founding FFL in 1997, Fleischer spent 19 years with Morgan Stanley as an investment banker and manager. He was a member of the worldwide investment banking operating committee and also held roles that included head of investment banking in Asia and head of corporate finance for Europe. Fleischer currently serves as a director of Levi Strauss & Co.
Fleischer earned a master of philosophy in management studies at Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes scholar. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a bachelor of arts in economics. Fleischer brings to the board more than 35 years of financial and operational expertise as well as deep international experience.
Williams is chairman, CEO and founder of The Williams Capital Group L.P. and Williams Capital Management LLC. He founded Williams Capital in 1994 and has since directed the firm’s strategic effort in providing investment banking and asset management services to multinational corporations, institutional investors and governmental entities.
Williams spent the first eight years of his career with Lehman Brothers where he assumed management roles in the areas of corporate debt capital markets and derivatives structuring and trading. Following his tenure with Lehman Brothers, he and several colleagues formed a derivatives and structured finance division of Jefferies & Co. The structured finance division was later spun off from Jefferies to form Williams Capital.
Williams served as a director of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from 2004-14, and currently serves on the board of Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Cox Enterprises Inc.
Williams holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and a bachelor of architecture from Howard University. Williams brings valuable financial, management and strategic experience to the board.