Milwaukee, Wis. — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of A. O.
Smith Corporation, Ajita Rajendra, was recently named in Fortune Magazine’s 2016 Businessperson of the
Year list. Rajendra was number 34 on the list of 50 CEOs.
to select who ultimately gets placed on the list of the top 50 CEOs, Fortune Magazine
looks at how CEOs are influencing
business and whether they take bold, visionary steps. They also parse and rank companies by 12- and
36-month increases in profits, revenues, and stock performance, and factor in
return on capital and debt.
great honor to be named in Fortune Magazine’s 2016
Businessperson of the Year list alongside CEOs from Apple, Amazon, and
Microsoft among other iconic companies. The hard work and
dedication of all A. O. Smith employees, along with our focus on values and our
customers have had a direct impact on our steady growth in the past few years
and this award appropriately recognizes all A. O. Smith employees worldwide for
that commitment,” said Rajendra.
The ninth CEO in the company's history, Rajendra was named CEO of A. O. Smith
Corporation on Jan. 1, 2013.
Under Rajendra’s leadership, the company’s profitable growth contributed
to a five-year cumulative total stock return of 427 percent as of Nov. 30, 2016,
and consistent record sales and earnings.
Rajendra was instrumental in driving several acquisitions; most notably
the purchase of leading manufacturer of high-efficiency boilers and water
heating equipment, Lochinvar in 2011, and just
recently the purchase of water purification company, Aquasana in August 2016. In addition, Rajendra also helped introduce
water treatment to the India market in 2010.
Rajendra received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering
from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, where he was recognized with
its Distinguished Alumnus award in 2015. Rajendra also earned an MBA from
Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa, and is a graduate of the Advanced
Management Program of the Harvard Business School.
Rajendra joined A. O. Smith in 2005 as president of its Water Products
Company and was named an executive vice president of the corporation in 2006. In 2011, Rajendra
was elected to the A. O. Smith board of directors and was named president and
chief operating officer.