AO Smith names new chief executive

MILWAUKEE -- A.O. Smith appointed its chief operating officer as CEO Tuesday. Current chairman and CEO Paul Jones will become executive chairman.

President and COO Ajita Rajendra, the new CEO, joined A.O. Smith in 2005 as president of its Water Products Co., which makes residential and commercial water heaters and boilers. He became president and chief operating officer in 2011 and was elected to the company's board later that year.

Rajendra will remain president. The shift becomes effective Jan. 1.

Jones joined A.O. Smith in 2004 as president and chief operating officer and was named to the board later that year. He became chairman and CEO the following year.

Shares of A.O. Smith Corp. fell 40 cents to $57.45 in afternoon trading.