Paul Jones to Retire as Executive Chairman of AO Smith; Ajita Rajendra Named Chairman, President and CEO
A. O. Smith Corporation (NYSE: AOS) announced today that Executive Chairman Paul W. Jones has decided to retire following the company's Annual Shareholders Meeting in April 2014.
The company's Board of Directors has elected Ajita G. Rajendra as chairman of the Milwaukee-based water technology company effective upon Jones' retirement. Rajendra will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer of the company. Jones will remain a member of the company's Board of Directors.
"Paul has been a visionary leader since joining A. O. Smith nearly 10 years ago," Bruce M. Smith, lead director for A. O. Smith Corporation, observed. "He was instrumental in guiding the transformation of A. O. Smith into a global water technology company, a decision that lays the groundwork for accelerated growth in the future.
"He also has done a tremendous job of rewarding our shareholders," Smith pointed out. "A. O. Smith's net income increased from $46 million the year he joined the company to $234 million in 2012, and this highly profitable growth contributed to a total stock return of 521 percent since he became chief executive officer in December 2005.
"The board feels very confident about the company's future with Ajita