LAKE FOREST, Ill. — With the planned separation of Tenneco Inc. into two separate publicly traded companies on hold, the automotive supplier eliminated its co-CEO leadership structure.
Roger Wood, board director and co-CEO, stepped down from both roles Jan. 7. Brian Kesseler will be the top executive in the consolidated CEO role, according to Tenneco.
"As we pursue the separation of our businesses, the board determined that consolidating our leadership structure now will help improve Tenneco's operational efficiency and achieve our near-term financial performance objectives," Tenneco Chairman Gregg Sherrill said.
The moves come amid a plan to reduce costs as the company has struggled with a large debt load since it acquired Southfield, Michn.-based Federal-Mogul in a $5.4 billion deal in October 2018. Tenneco cut its forecast for revenue three times in 2019.
The maker of shocks, struts and mufflers has been struggling to follow through with plans to separate its powertrain unit from its aftermarket and ride-performance business, named Driv Inc.
Driv makes aftermarket parts, shock absorbers, suspension systems and brake parts and will remain in Tennecco's location in Lake Forest. Tenneco, which makes powertrain parts, maintains its plan to move into a $23 million, 100,000-sq.-ft. headquarters in Northville Township, Mich. The build was supported by a $750,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund on the anticipation that it would create 100 jobs over three to five years.
Approximately 200 employees will move from Tenneco's Southfield office to the new headquarters in Northville during the first quarter of this year. The original plan called for employees to move in 2019, but that plan was changed by construction delays, Steve Blow, executive director of global corporate communications for Tenneco, wrote in an email.