Joseph W. Moeller
2009 Business Leader
After graduating from TU with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum marketing, Joe Moeller would be the first to admit his business career got off to a rough start.
His problem wasn’t the usual challenge – finding employment, it was the fact he turned down what both his father and father-in-law thought was an excellent job at a big, well-known, well-established public company. Instead, Moeller surprised everyone by going to work for a small, little-known, recently formed private company called Hudson Oil.
What neither Moeller nor his family knew at the time was that Hudson Oil’s parent company was destined to become part of a diversified global conglomerate that Forbes would call “the world’s largest private company”, or that Moeller was destined to become its president and chief operating officer. That company was Koch Industries, Inc.
An Oklahoma native (he was born in Holdenville), Moeller met his future wife – fellow TU student Mary Fellers – on a blind date. They married in 1964. By the time he graduated and went to work for Hudson Oil two years later, the Moellers already had the first of their three children.
Moeller has devoted his entire career to working at companies owned or operated by Wichitabased Koch Industries. He grew Hudson Oil’s chain of gas stations from 126 to more than 300 before moving on to a role in refining. By the time he attended his 10-year TU reunion, Moeller was leading all of the U.S. marketing, trading and distribution activities for Koch Refining Company and its subsidiaries. By his 20-year reunion, he was a member of KII’s board of directors. In the years that followed, he became president of Koch Petroleum Group and then of Koch Ventures, Inc., based in Scottsdale, Ariz. (where he and Mary have a home).
Moeller returned to Koch Industries’ corporate headquarters in 1999, when he became president and chief operating officer for the company. It was during the six years of Moeller’s leadership as president and COO that Koch Industries made two of the biggest acquisitions in its history – the $4.2 billion purchase of INVISTA from DuPont in 2004, and the $21 billion acquisition of Georgia- Pacific a year later. INVISTA, which accounted for more than 20 percent of DuPont’s revenues, is famous for making LYCRA® spandex and STAINMASTER® carpet fibers. Georgia-Pacific, where Moeller later served as chairman, president and CEO, is the maker of Dixie® brand disposable cups, Quilted Northern®tissue, Brawny® paper towels and Walmart’s best-selling item, Angel Soft® tissue.
Although Moeller has officially retired, he continues to serve as vice chairman of the board of directors for Koch Industries. He also cochairs KII’s pension and investment committee and serves on the board of Flint Hills Resources. When not at home or attending board meetings, Moeller enjoys keeping up with his children, grandchildren and playing golf.