Credited with becoming one of the first corporate leaders in the nation to draw the connection between employee wellness and business profitability, James Ketelsen died April 27 in Houston of natural causes. He was 86.
Ketelsen joined J.I. Case Company in 1959 as assistant comptroller, rising to the role of president on Dec. 7, 1967 — at age 37 — and began to reorganize the company into three operating divisions: agriculture, construction equipment and components. Ketelsen became president of Tenneco in 1978 and retired as chairman and CEO in 1992. During his tenure, in 1985 Case bought International Harvester’s agricultural equipment line and became Case IH.
Memorial services were held in Houston last Friday.