Clorox comes to Pleasanton | January 18, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Cover Story - January 18, 2013

Clorox comes to Pleasanton

Stunning new campus home to 1,000-strong workforce

by Jeb Bing

The Clorox Company, best known for its bleach and cleaning products but the manufacturer of much more, is gradually moving its 1,000-strong workforce into its architecturally stunning new corporate campus in Pleasanton.

The company, headed by its chairman and chief executive officer Don Knauss, has long been considered an icon in Oakland, where it will continue to maintain its headquarters. However, the move to the 343,300-square-foot campus on Johnson Drive near the Stoneridge Drive-I-680 interchange means it is vacating nearly half of that 500,000-square-foot building it owns in downtown Oakland at 1111 Broadway.

In a walk through the six-building Pleasanton campus, which includes a new R&D center that will eventually replace the Clorox Technical Center on Johnson Drive near ClubSport, it's clear that employees are finding their workplace lifestyle here a whole new experience.

Lawn chairs, picnic tables, barbecues and sunscreen umbrellas dot the campus in every direction. A mammoth, colorful marble-floor lobby with a three-story-high ceiling greets visitors who can also look up to see the railings of upper floors. A puzzle with pieces fastened to the lobby wall gives everyone a chance to try to identify the multiple products Clorox makes, including personal care products such as Burt's Bees and water filter Brita.

Work at Clorox also is highly mobile with more than half its employees opting out of a fixed desk in a work center for the freedom of sitting almost anywhere in the complex where they can plug in their laptop, log in on their smart phone and begin working. There are no closed offices in the complex, with low-walled and very open cubicles positioned in the center of the floors and windows providing a sweeping, unimpeded view of the landscaped campus.

Closed-door conference rooms, all with floor to ceiling windows, come in different shapes and sizes and can be arranged in U-shaped to theater style settings. Some have prescriptive telescreens arranged in a semi-circle for teleconferencing and videos that make those in Pleasanton think their counterparts in Oakland or other Clorox centers are in the same room.

Throughout the complex, there also are community rooms that employees can use for private meetings or expand to include social and special interest get-togethers.

The Clorox campus, located next to Thoratec and just off Hopyard Road, adds to the concentration of skilled workforces located in easy walking distances of restaurants on Hopyard and just a short drive away from Stoneridge Shopping Center across I-680. Once the call center of the former Washington Mutual Bank, the 26-acre campus was vacated when WaMu was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2008.

Clorox is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with revenues topping $5 billion. With approximately 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $80 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2010 alone, the foundation awarded $3.5 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $8.8 million.


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