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Paul Jones
Executive Chairman
A.O. Smith Corporation

“When I joined the company, we needed to rationalize the acquisitions we made in order to put the company into a more efficient operation status,” said Jones. “Once our costs lowered in the marketplace, we were able to focus on bringing innovation back to the equation.”

A. O. Smith Corporation is now number one in China, and on its way to becoming number one in India. When Jones joined A. O. Smith, the company was already in China, but only had 8% share – a number that’s grown to 25% today.

Growing internationally

As the last several years saw a continued lack in the US housing industry, A. O. Smith Corporation had to grow the business, and shares, outside of the country. “We’ve had to put an emphasis on China and India by highlighting our new products and technology in order to generate better returns for our shareholders, as well as growing in other countries,” Jones said.

With manufacturing operations in the US, Canada, Mexico, China, India and Europe, A. O. Smith has sales and distribution in more than 60 countries around the world.

Jones began his career with General Electric Company, spending 19 years in progressively more responsible positions in the Power Systems; Plastics; Drives, Motor and Generator; and Transportation units. From 1989 until 1998, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Greenfield Industries, Inc., of Augusta, Ga., a manufacturer of cutting tools and other material-removal products. Jones served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1998 until 2002 of US Can Company, Inc., of Lombard, Ill., a leading provider of containers for personal care, household, paint and industrial products.

Jones then joined A. O. Smith in January 2004 as President and Chief Operating Officer, responsible for all worldwide operations, and became Chairman and CEO in January 2006. He was elected to the company's Board of Directors in December 2004. Jones assumed the newly created position of Executive Chairman on January 1, 2013. In this role, he chairs the company’s Board of Directors and is actively involved in strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and management development.

 

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