Guardian Industries Corp. has named Thomas B. Highley president and chief executive officer of Guardian Building Products (GBP), a North American distributor of specialty building products headquartered in Greenville, S.C. He succeeds Steven Ziessler, who had led the company since 2011.

For the past three years, Highley was chief executive officer and managing partner of Engedi Solutions LLC, a building materials industry strategy consulting and independent sponsor private equity firm. Prior to Engedi, he spent 10 years leading Tenon Limited, a New Zealand stock exchange-listed holding company with subsidiary businesses engaged in the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of millwork and building material products. Highley served as vice president and general manager of the pro dealer business for Empire Distribution (Tenon’s largest subsidiary) from 2001-04, president of Empire from 2004-09 and Tenon CEO from 2009-11.

“After a comprehensive search process, I am pleased that Tom will be leading the transformation of Guardian Building Products from a manufacturing and distribution company into a focused, industry-leading building materials distributor,” says Ron Vaupel, president and CEO of Guardian Industries Corp. “Tom has a track record of strong leadership with a focus on people and profitable growth. This combined with his deep industry knowledge and past success in leadership of a building materials distribution company makes Tom uniquely qualified to lead Guardian Building Products successfully into the future.”

Highley received his MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and his bachelor’s in international relations and economics from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.