Brian Kesseler, CEO of Tenneco

Brian Kesseler, CEO of Tenneco

Three decades after graduating from the Eli Broad College of Business, alumnus Brian Kesseler (BA Financial Administration ’88), chief executive officer for Tenneco Inc., will again take to the ceremonial stage to address the college’s latest graduates during 2018 commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 5.

Kesseler heads one of the world’s largest suppliers to the automotive industry, with a specific focus on clean air and ride performance. The $9.3 billion company has 32,000 employees and operates 92 manufacturing facilities and 15 engineering and technical centers around the world. He also serves on the board of directors of the suburban Chicago-based company.

While leading Tenneco’s global business, Kesseler has stayed active with the college, serving on the board of the Eli Broad College of Business Alumni/Advisory Board and speaking at the college earlier this year as part of the Pung Executive Speaker Series.

At Tenneco, Kesseler is helping address major transformations in the automotive industry, including emission regulations, hybrids, and autonomous driving. The company prides itself on pioneering global ideas for cleaner air and smoother, quieter, and safer transportation, bridging both economic imperative and environmental responsibility.

“We’re very pleased to have Brian as a part of this year’s commencement ceremony and look forward to his message to the graduates,” Sanjay Gupta, dean of the Eli Broad College of Business, said. “His dedication to innovation, focus on people and teamwork, and generous support for our programs exemplifies the best of Broad College Spartans leading in the C-suite today and our leaders of the future.”

Prior to joining Tenneco in 2015, originally as chief operating officer, Kesseler spent more than two decades with Johnson Controls, holding leadership roles in all business units, most recently serving as president of the Johnson Controls Power Solutions business, which supplies more than one-third of the world’s conventional batteries to major automakers and aftermarket retailers.

Before joining Johnson Controls in 1994, he spent five years with Ford Motor Company’s North America Assembly Operations division, in various manufacturing roles.

Kesseler also earned an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College.

Kesseler is from a family of Spartans. His wife and daughter both graduated from MSU, and his son will graduate this year.