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Ajita G. Rajendra was named Chief Executive Officer of A. O. Smith Corporation on January 1, 2013, and Chairman in April 2014. A. O. Smith is a $2.8 billion global water technology company. He is the ninth chief executive in the company’s 140-year history.
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. 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.