Ajita G. Rajendra, Executive Chairman


Ajita RajendraAjita G. Rajendra was named Executive Chairman of A. O. Smith Corporation on September 1, 2018. In this role, he is involved with strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, and executive talent development.  A. O. Smith is a global water technology company with revenues of $3+ billion and market capitalization of approximately $10 billion.  A. O. Smith was included in the S&P 500 index in 2017. 

He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2013 and Chairman and CEO in April 2014. Prior to becoming CEO, he was President and Chief Operating Officer, responsible for the company’s water heater operations in North America, China, Europe, and India, as well as the company’s water purification business in China and the Lochinvar, LLC, global boiler business. Ajita was elected to the A. O. Smith Board of Directors in December 2011.

Ajita joined A. O. Smith as President of its Water Products Company in January 2005 and was named an Executive Vice President of the Corporation in 2006; President and Chief Operating Officer in 2011; President and CEO in 2013; Chairman, President and CEO in 2014; and Chairman and CEO in 2017.

Prior to joining A. O. Smith, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Industrial Products Group of Kennametal Inc., Latrobe, Pa., a manufacturer of high precision cutting tools used in aerospace, automotive, and other industrial applications.

Ajita began his career in 1978 with Corning Incorporated, Corning, N.Y., holding a wide range of financial, marketing and executive management positions, including President of the Revere Ware Corporation and global P&L responsibility for Corning’s Pyrex and Corning Ware businesses and Corning’s retail operations.

Ajita earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India and a MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. He also graduated from the AMP program at the Harvard Business School.

He was Chairman of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) from 2011-2012. He is also a director of Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE: DCI) and The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR), and a member of the Business Roundtable, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), a member of the Board of Trustees of Alverno College in Milwaukee and a member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.