Looking Back on the Stellar Career of Louis Chenevert

Today Louis Chenevert is an advisor to Goldman Sachs. He targets opportunities in the aerospace and industrial sector for the renowned investment bank. The reason Goldman hired him is due to what he accomplished as the CEO of United Technologies Corporation (UTC) between 2006 and 2014.

Mr. Chenevert, a native of Quebec, came to work for UTC back in 1993 when he got lured away from General Motors (GM) after spending 14 years as a production manager with the automobile manufacturer. Chenevert, who has a BS degree in production management from HEC Montreal, then went to work for Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of UTC.

Pratt & Whitney appointed him president in 1999. UTC, the parent company, then selected him to be the president and CEO of the whole operation in 2006. By 2010, Louis Chenevert was the Chairman of UTC.

It was not magic which accomplished his success. It was a complete understanding of UTC’s business and what made it work. More importantly, it was Chenevert’s vision and execution of what would make UTC’s business work better which earned him a rock star status in the business world.

By encouraging synergies within the business, and having a vision of the needs of their customers both today and tomorrow, Louis Chenevert devised a strategy which would cut cost, increase productivity, and foster customer loyalty for decades to come.

When other companies were taking advantage of globalization to export jobs overseas, counterintuitively, Chenevert brought thousands of jobs to Connecticut, the headquarters of UTC. He did this to concentrate the expertise of the conglomerate into a single geographic zone where the talent pool would be fungible.

His other clever notion was to invest in his people. The company assists with the cost of furthering an employees education. Chenevert considers human capital to be the driver of a company’s innovation. It was this type of employee inspired creativity which gave birth to the GTF engine. A product which has secured UTC’s jet engine business for the next 20 to 30 years.

On December 8th, 2014, Louis Chenevert stepped down. Today at 60 years old he is enjoying the fruits of his labor while continuing to contribute to the business world as an advisor. His approach to running even the most significant business will change the way CEOs think for generations to come.