Great ResignationInflationSupply ChainsLeadership

Next Clorox boss will bring the number of Fortune 500 women CEOs to 38, highest yet

August 3, 2020, 1:55 PM UTC

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The Clorox Company said on Monday that its president and the key architect of its long term growth plan would take the reins of the household goods company next month, setting a new record for the number of women CEOs at the helm of a Fortune 500 company.

Once Linda Rendle, an executive at Clorox since 2003, takes the corner office on September 14, the number of female chief executives leading a Fortune 500 company will rise to an all-time high of 38 women.

Rendle will replace Clorox’s CEO of nearly six years, Benno Dorer, who will continue to chair the company’s board. Rendle, named president in May in a move that telegraphed her ascent to the CEO job, has held several major roles at Clorox over the years that have given her a deep understanding of the company’s inner workings, including leading global operations for its cleaning business. She started at Clorox in sales for the company’s charcoal and insecticides businesses. Before that, Rendle had worked for Procter & Gamble in different sales jobs.

Last year, the 42-year-old oversaw the drafting of Clorox’s IGNITE strategy, an initiative aimed at deepening the company’s presence in newer areas like wellness and nutraceuticals, drawing in more online sales, and spurring more innovation. The company has long wanted to be less reliant on its namesake cleaning products, whose sales have been stratospheric during the pandemic, and has been moving into environmentally friendly spaces with products like compostable cleaning wipes.

“We continue to have a significant role supporting public health, given the ongoing needs and changing behaviors of our consumers and communities,” Rendle said in a statement.

She will take over a company in very good shape. In its fiscal fourth quarter, revenue rose by a third at Clorox’s health and wellness division, which generates more than 40% of total sales and includes cleaning products and supplements. What’s more, sales gains were strong in most categories: Beyond its famous bleach, Clorox’s portfolio of products includes Pine-Sol, Liquid-Plumr, Fresh Step kitty litter, Glad garbage bags, Kingsford charcoal, and Hidden Valley salad dressing. Total company revenues last year came to $6.7 billion.