CORPORATIONS: New Energy at Tenneco

Shortly after the Tennessee Gas and Transmission Co. went into business in 1943 as a pipeline carrier of natural gas, its founder and longtime boss, Gardiner Symonds, decided that the company had to diversify to survive. Reason: rates and profits on the transmission of natural gas are strictly regulated by state and federal governments, leaving Symonds little hope for fast growth. Before his death last year at age 67, Symonds had turned the utility into a vast conglomerate named Tenneco that does $2.8 billion worth of business annually and reaches into land...