Gerald Johnston, 58, Remains Hospitalized for Evaluation

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CINCINNATI ( -- Clorox Co. Chairman-CEO Gerald E. Johnston, 58, suffered a heart attack late yesterday afternoon and remains hospitalized as his condition is evaluated, the company announced today.
Gerald E. Johnston

A spokeswoman declined to comment further.

“The thoughts and support of our entire company are with Jerry and his family at this time,” Robert W. Matschullat, presiding director of Clorox’s board of directors, said in a statement. Mr. Matschullat was nonexecutive chairman prior to Mr. Johnston assuming the chairman role last year.

Mr. Johnston, who became CEO in 2004, has been a strong proponent of stronger creative in Clorox advertising, having attended the International Advertising Festival at Cannes last year. He has presided over the launch of such products as Glad ForceFlex trash bags and the unwinding of Henkel’s substantial equity stake in the company.

Despite strong pressure from rising raw-material costs, Clorox has been able to successfully raise prices and hit earnings targets in recent quarters while also maintaining ad spending at around 9% of sales.

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