Executive Library

Donald Knauss

Donald R. Knauss

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer


Donald R. "Don" Knauss is executive chairman of the board of The Clorox Company. He assumed this post Nov. 20, 2014, after serving as chairman and chief executive officer for eight years, beginning in 2006.

Prior to joining Clorox, Knauss spent 12 years with The Coca-Cola Company, most recently as president and chief operating officer of Coca-Cola North America. In previous roles with the company, he served as president and chief executive officer of The Minute Maid Company; managed Coca-Cola's businesses in 10 countries of Southern Africa; and served as senior vice president and general manager for Minute Maid's U.S. retail operations. He joined the company in 1994 as senior vice president of marketing for The Minute Maid Company.

Knauss previously held a variety of positions in marketing and sales with the Frito-Lay and Tropicana divisions of PepsiCo, Inc. He began his business career as a brand manager in the paper products division at Procter & Gamble. Before that, he served as an officer of the United States Marine Corps.

Knauss sits on the board of directors for Kellogg Company and McKesson Corporation. He also sits on the economic advisory council of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Knauss has a long-standing commitment to promoting workplace equality and embracing diversity. In 2006, he received The Jackie Robinson Foundation's ROBIE Award for industry achievement. The ROBIE Award is the foundation's highest tribute to an individual who has promoted and expanded opportunities for minorities in the corporate world.

A native of Highland, Ind., Knauss holds a bachelor's degree in history from Indiana University. One of Knauss’ personal passions is promoting education, which includes serving on the Morehouse College (Atlanta) board of trustees and the Marine Corps University Foundation board of trustees. In 2007, Don and his wife Ellie launched, and continue to personally fund, the Knauss Scholars Program. This annual program provides 15 children of Clorox employees as much as $10,000 each — $2,500 per year for a four-year program — to be applied toward accredited colleges and universities, as well as vocational and technical schools.