TheA. O. Smith Corp.announced thatPaul W. Joneswill transition from chairman and chief executive officer to executive chairman of the corporation, effective Jan. 1, 2013. In addition,Ajita G. Rajendrawill assume the role of president and chief executive officer.
In this newly created role, Jones will continue to lead the company’s board of directors as the executive chairman and will remain actively involved in the company’s strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and developing executive talent for the Milwaukee-based water technology company. 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 chief executive officer in December 2005.
Rajendra, who is currently president and COO, will assume the role of chief executive and have responsibility for strategy development and implementation, profitability and shareholder returns. Rajendra joined A. O. Smith in February 2005 as president of its Water Products Co. and was named an executive vice president of the corporation in 2006.
Rajendra 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. Currently, he also serves as chairman of the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
“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 commented. “In addition, he is well known and respected throughout the industry and is an outstanding business person with strategic vision and excellent execution skills.”
Source: A. O. Smith