Gerald Johnston Remains Hospitalized After Heart Attack

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CINCINNATI ( -- Clorox Co. today named board member Robert Matschullat interim CEO as Chairman-CEO Gerald E. Johnston remains hospitalized following a heart attack last week.
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Robert Matschullat
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Mr. Johnston, 58, suffered a heart attack March 1 and has been hospitalized since then, the company said in a statement. “We are not providing additional information at this time out of respect to [Mr. Johnston] and his family,” a spokeswoman said.

Presiding director
Mr. Matschullat, also 58, had been presiding director of Clorox since last year, having been non-executive chairman in 2004 before Mr. Johnston assumed that post. Mr. Matschullat was vice chairman and chief financial officer of Seagram Co. from 1995 to 2000 and head of worldwide investment banking for Morgan Stanley & Co. before that. He’s been a director of the Walt Disney Co. since 2002.

"We continue to send our best wishes and strong support to Jerry and his family," Mr. Matschullat said in a statement. "The board of directors has tremendous confidence in Clorox's management team and the executive committee's ability to effectively run the business with the board's support during this interim period. The company is executing against a set of well-established strategies and operating plans. Everyone at Clorox remains committed to continue driving the business in Jerry's absence."

Mr. Johnston, a 10-year veteran of Procter & Gamble Co. in sales, has been at Clorox since 1981. In the early 1990s, he led an overhaul of the Kingsford Charcoal brand that turned it from a roughly 30-share brand to a category leader with shares of more than 70%. He became president and chief operating officer in 1999 and CEO in 2003.

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