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Clorox Company sues S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.

April 24, 2009
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OAKLAND, CA — The Clorox Company is suing industry rival S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. for hiring one of its top executives, according to an Associated Press story hosted by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Clorox claims that S.C. Johnson''s hiring of former Clorox Vice President Timothy Bailey would jeopardize some of Clorox''s valuable trade secrets as Bailey was involved in several high-level, long-range strategy meetings, the story stated.
According to the story, Bailey is slated to head S.C. Johnson''s manufacturing division in early May.
Clorox claims that Bailey, while never having signed a noncompete agreement, did sign a nondisclosure agreement that legally prevents him from revealing trade secrets and other company documents to competitors, the story noted.
According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Milwaukee, Bailey committed several "suspicious" acts prior to his resignation, including: Entering the office on April 11 with a small briefcase then leaving about two hours later with a large bag on rollers; entering the office at about 3:50 a.m. and leaving at 6:30 a.m. on April 14 before coming back to resign; and the possibility that files Bailey downloaded onto a flash drive included documents titled "Comparison Spreadsheets" and "Contacts."
An S.C. Johnson spokesperson says that Bailey''s duties at S.C. Johnson will be different from those he had at Clorox so there is no reason to believe he would compromise any of Clorox''s secrets, the story added.
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