A. O. Smith's board of directors has announced Paul Jones will transition from chairman and CEO to executive chairman, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Ajita Rajendra will assume the role of president and CEO.
Jones will continue to lead the company’s board of directors as the executive chairman and will remain involved in the company’s strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, and developing executive talent for the Milwaukee-based water technology company.
Rajendra, who is currently president and chief operating officer, will have responsibility for strategy development and implementation, profitability and shareholder returns for the company which has nearly $2 billion in sales, 17 manufacturing operations and more than 10,500 employees worldwide.
“With our water technology strategy well under way, now is an appropriate time to transition the chief executive responsibilities to Ajita, who was actively involved in the development of this strategy,” Jones said. “In addition, he is well known and respected throughout the industry and is an outstanding business person with strategic vision and excellent execution skills.”
Jones joined A. O. Smith in January 2004 as president and chief operating officer and was named to the company’s board of directors in December of that year. He was named chairman and CEO in December 2005.
He is a member of the Federal-Signal Corp. and the Integrys Energy Corp. boards of directors. Jones also is a member of the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of MAPI.
Rajendra joined A. O. Smith in February 2005 as president of its Water Products Company, and was named an executive VP in 2006. He was named president and chief operating officer in August 2011 and was elected to the company’s board of directors in December of that year.
Rajendra is a member of the board of directors of Donaldson Co., a manufacturer of filtration products headquartered in Minneapolis. He is currently serving as chairman of the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).