Jones is ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

Paul Jones, executive chairman of Milwaukee-based A. O. Smith Corp., has been named the National EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 Distribution and Manufacturing Award winner.


The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is among the country’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses. 

Jones was recognized for bringing the 139-year-old manufacturing company to the next level of innovative strategy, business approach and new service offerings. He was honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, Calif. 

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients. 

“Jones’ bold decision-making definitely impressed our judges,'” said Bryan Pearce, EY Americas director, Entrepreneur Of The Year. “Jones helped the company grow internationally both in China and India, which are now both highly successful ventures.” 

“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.” 

When Jones joined A. O. Smith, the water heater manufacturing company was already in China, but only had 8 percent market share – a number that has grown to 25 percent today. 

“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.

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