Clorox Sets Alumni on Brighter Course


CloroxClorox might produce the nation’s most popular bleach, but it also has a knack for serving as a training ground for Haas graduates, including several who have gone on to become some of the world's top CEOs. Joe Jimenez, MBA 84, of Novartis, and John Riccitiello, BS 81, of Electronic Arts, both began their careers at Clorox, based in downtown Oakland. And Michael Gallagher, BS 67, MBA 68, worked at Clorox as a brand manager before heading up Playtex Products. So what’s the secret behind this impressive track record?


“No other company gives you the level of training in classic marketing that Clorox does,” explains Peddy Khatami, MBA 02. Khatami started at Clorox as an assistant marketing manager, a position highly coveted by recent MBA grads.  Although he moved into a sales role at Clorox last year, Khatami still uses his marketing training and considers it invaluable. “You learn principles that you can take anywhere and apply to anything,” Khatami says.


Haas provides the foundation to enable a graduate to flourish at Clorox, Jimenez says. "The marketing courses that I took at Haas were very quantitative. I found that when I went to Clorox to start my career, this really helped me have an analytical bent that other people new to Clorox did not have," he says.


The relationship goes both ways. Jennifer Brown, MBA 09, believes Clorox has provided her with a unique opportunity. As a summer intern, she was given “a lot of responsibility and a lot of free rein” on an effort to further green the Brita water filtration brand. She created a partnership with Preserve, an innovative recycled plastics company, and launched a drop-off recycling program at Whole Foods stores. As an associate marketing manager, Brown went on to oversee the Brita program she created and now works on other base-brand marketing projects.   


“There may be sexier industries to be in,” Khatami says.  “But Clorox provides the foundation for a great marketing career no matter where you go.”



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