A. O. Smith names executive chairman, CEO
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).
Home Depot launches career assistance program for military, veterans
Home Depot has announced a new initiative, which supports U.S. service men and women, offering them knowledge and resources they need to transition into the civilian work force.
The new program, Mission: Transition, is a concentrated effort by Home Depot to assist the military community with job search strategies and tools for today’s employment market.
"Members of the United States military are great assets to America’s work force, yet the outstanding skills they possess can be difficult to translate during the application or interview process," said Tim Crow, the Home Depot EVP human resources. "Through Mission: Transition, we want to help service men and women highlight their unique skills to successfully pursue opportunities with any employer, not just The Home Depot."
The initiative will offer customized training events and career tools.
On Oct. 27, Home Depot will conduct more than 100 Civilian Career Workshops, half-day training sessions across the country. This will help members of the military with their job search in almost any industry or with most any employer. These workshops, which will be held at select Home Depot stores and other company facilities, will include coaching on resume optimization for civilian jobs, interview tips and more. Space is limited, but workshops are open to any member of the military or veteran transitioning to a civilian career.
Home Depot’s Online Military Skills Translator is designed to help translate and match an applicant’s military skills with positions that will offer the best fit.
Home Depot currently employs more than 35,000 veterans and service members, 1,500 of which are deployed for active duty at any given time. Additionally, The Home Depot Foundation has committed a total of $80 million to support veterans’ housing initiatives.
Fastenal shows double-digit sales growth
Winona, Minn.-based Fastenal reported third-quarter sales of $802.6 million, up 10.4% from the same quarter last year.
Net earnings for the specialty building products retailer were $109.3 million in the quarter, up 12.9%.
As of Sept. 30, Fastenal operated 2,650 stores, and the company has opened 73 new stores in the first nine months of 2012.
The company also established more vending machines to distribute products through its FAST Solutions industrial vending program, which has 17,013 machines in place. During the first nine months of 2012, the company installed 9,560 new machines, an increase of 128.3% since December 2011.
“We believe industrial vending is the next logical chapter in the Fastenal story. We also believe it has the potential to be transformative to industrial distribution, and that we have a ‘first mover’ advantage,” according to the company’s press release.