Karl Fessenden

Karl Fessenden

President and CEO

Karl Fessenden is an accomplished senior operating executive with an impressive background of over 35 years in the Industrial, Aviation, and Power Generation Industries. He has extensive leadership experience in complex service-based businesses, as well as a strong track record of driving commercial and operational excellence in both public and private companies.

Fessenden joined BrandSafway as President and CEO in 2020. The company is one of the largest and most reputable specialty contractors in the world, first founded more than 100 years ago. With a commitment to safety as its foremost value, BrandSafway provides the broadest range of solutions with the greatest depth of expertise to the industrial, commercial and infrastructure markets. Through a network of 360 strategic locations across 27 countries and more than 40,000 employees, BrandSafway delivers a full range of forming, shoring, scaffolding, work access and industrial service solutions. The company is privately owned, headquartered in Atlanta, and generated $5 billion in revenue in 2023.

Fessenden previously served as President and COO of MB Aerospace, spearheading the company’s global growth and operational strategy. He held full functional and operational responsibility for all global operations in North America, Asia and Europe.

Prior to that, Fessenden served President and Chief Executive Officer of CHC Helicopter, a global leader in offshore transport, search and rescue, and rotorcraft MRO. He successfully led the restructuring and recapitalization of the multinational corporation.

Earlier in his career, Fessenden spent 20 years at General Electric in the Aviation and Power Generation businesses. His senior leadership roles included leading GE’s largest industrial services P&L – Power Generation Services (PGS). PGS had revenues exceeding $8 billion, with 7,500 employees operating in more than 100 countries. Other key roles at GE included overseeing the integration of the Alstom power-generation business, the largest acquisition in the company’s history at the time, as well as several key plant management and Six Sigma leadership responsibilities.

Fessenden graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and earned his Master of Science in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the Hartford Graduate Center. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and as a Trustee for the Committee for Economic Development, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy center. He speaks frequently on leadership topics and construction/infrastructure trends.