Roger Crandall is on track to become chairman of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company Dec. 28.

Roger Crandall became president and chief executive officer of MassMutual, Springfield, Mass., Jan. 1, and he will keep both titles when he becomes chairman, the company says.

Crandall is set to succeed Stuart Reese, who was chairman and CEO and continued to be chairman when Crandall took over as CEO.

“Stu’s emphasis on our core strengths enabled us to retain our extremely strong financial and competitive position during the most volatile economic times,” Crandall says in a statement about the transition.

MassMutual named Crandall to be Reese’s successor in June 2009. Reese plans to retire from the MassMutual board as well as from the chairman post, the company says.

Crandall has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in business from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst professional designation. He began to work for MassMutual in 1988, in the company’s investment management department.

Crandall is on the board of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the Business Roundtable, Washington.