Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Kevin Wheeler

Manufacturing
Chairman, president and CEO
A.O. Smith Corp.  |  Milwaukee

Since joining A.O. Smith Corp.  in 1994 as a regional sales manager, Kevin Wheeler has risen through its ranks to now serve as chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Milwaukee-based water heater and boiler manufacturer. With over 12,000 employees across its global operations and 125 located at its Milwaukee headquarters, A.O. Smith is among the largest employers in the state. It also continues to grow, having completed five acquisitions since 2016 to expand its North American water treatment business.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of Nevada, Reno; Advanced Management Program at Harvard University

A book everyone should read: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (Stephen Covey)

Favorite restaurant order: “Eddie Martini’s, a thick filet with a great glass of cabernet.”

Advice for young professionals: “Start as broad as possible, and don’t narrow your job focus too early. Embrace each opportunity and strive for excellence no matter what the task.”

Top of your bucket list: “Cage diving with great white sharks in Australia.”