Ajita G. Rajendra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ajita RajendraAjita Rajendra was named Chief Executive Officer of A. O. Smith Corporation on January 1, 2013 and Chairman in April 2014.  He is the ninth CEO in the company's history. His primary responsibilities include strategy development and implementation, profitability, and shareholder returns. He previously held the positions of President and Chief Executive Officer and President and Chief Operating Officer, responsible for A. O. Smith’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 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 an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. He also graduated from the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at the Harvard Business School. Ajita is a director of Donaldson Company, Inc. and The Timken Company.  He is also a member of the Business Roundtable, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), a director of the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (“AHRI”), a member of the Board of Trustees of Alverno College in Milwaukee, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.