A.O. Smith Water Products Co. has announced four executive appointments in its domestic and international operations:

  • Kevin Wheeler, senior vice president and general manager of U. S. retail water heaters;

  • Wei Ding, vice president-China;

  • Steve Anderson, who is currently senior vice president-global operations, will assume profit and loss responsibility for all international operations outside of North America and China; and

  • David Warren, managing director of the Veldhoven operation, will now assume responsibility for all international sales outside of North America and China, including the company’s export water heater business. 


Wheeler replaces Robert W. Trudeau, who retired May 31 as president of American Water Heater Co. Trudeau had been president of American Water Heater since 1996 and led the successful turnaround of that business. Trudeau rejoined A.O. Smith in April 2006 when American was acquired by A.O. Smith Corp.

In his new position, Wheeler will be responsible for the company’s retail Strategic Business Unit, including the U.S. Craftmaster, Whirlpool, Kenmore, and Reliance, brands.

Wheeler brings more than 20 years of water heater industry experience to his new position. He joined A.O. Smith as Western regional sales manager in 1994 and was named regional sales manager for the 14-state Southwest Region in 1997. In 1999, he moved to the Veldhoven operation as managing director of that facility. In 2004, he was promoted to Water Products vice president-international, with responsibility for all international and export sales activities.

Anderson adds the profit and loss responsibility for all international operations outside of North America and China to his current manufacturing and supply chain duties. He joined the company as vice president-North American operations in 2004 and added the global operations and supply chain responsibilities in 2006.

In his new position as vice president-China, Wei Ding will be responsible for all facets of the company’s water heater business in that country. Wei joined A.O. Smith’s Nanjing operation in 1997 and was named managing director of that business in 2000. A.O. Smith recently announced plans to construct a second water heater manufacturing plant on its Nanjing campus.

Warren has been managing director of the Veldhoven operation since July 2004, responsible for the European and Middle Eastern markets. In addition to international sales outside of North America and China, Warren will oversee the company’s export water heater business and its venture in India.Tamal Chaudhuri, manager of sales and marketing with A.O. Smith Water Heating Private Limited, will now report to him.

Warren joined A.O. Smith as a sales coordinator in 1989 and was promoted to district manager of the District South Texas. He became a regional sales manager of the South Central Region in 1999 and was named director of Reliance water heater sales in 2002.