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A.O. Smith Names Kevin Wheeler As Chairman, Succeeding Ajita Rajendra

A.O. Smith Corp. (AOS) said Wednesday that executive chairman Ajita Rajendra will retire, effective May 1, 2020. He will remain a member of the company's board.

The Milwaukee-based water technology company's board of directors has elected Kevin Wheeler as chairman of the company, succeeding Rajendra upon his retirement. Wheeler will also continue to serve as president and chief executive officer of the company.

Rajendra joined A. O. Smith in January 2005 as president of its Water Products Company, a manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters and boilers, and was named an executive vice president of the corporation in 2006. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer in August 2011 and elected to the company's board in December of that year.

Rajendra was named executive chairman of the corporation in September 2018 while he continued to lead the company's board.

Wheeler joined A. O. Smith in 1994 as a regional sales manager for the former Water Products Company. Prior to being appointed president and chief executive officer, he held numerous senior leadership positions during his two and a half decades with the company.

These positions include as vice president-international with responsibility for all European and Asian water heating operations, senior vice president and general manager of the U. S. retail water heater business, and senior vice president and general manager of the North America, India, and Europe water heating business.

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