United Technologies Corporation is a success story where so much manufacturing in the United States has not survived due to the growth of the global economy. And the success of UTC is largely due to Louis Chenevert who recently stepped down as UTC’s CEO.
Chenevert earned a degree in production management from HEC Montreal, the Canadian business school in 1979. From there he worked for General Motors where he was general production manager and he then moved to Pratt & Whitney Canada in 1993. He became vice president of operations and in 1999 he became president. Then in 2006, he moved onto UTC as the chief operating officer, president, and director.
Pratt & Whitney is a UTC company that produced the geared turbofan engine and Chenevert had the vision that this engine was going to be part of the future of jet engines because it reduced fuel consumption by 16% and emissions by 50%. It is now utilized by 14 airlines.
He also oversaw the acquisition of Goodrich Corporation for UTC principally for its production of aircraft components, namely the aviation landing systems. This expanded their market share.
Rather than move operations overseas, Chenevert moved UTC to Connecticut because he feels that cheap labor produces cheap products. All of the top minds and workers were centralized and focused rather than spread across the country and the world.
During his time at UTC he invested in the people working there through the Employee Scholar Program in order to encourage employees to pursue lifelong learning because he recognizes the company’s success depends on its employees’ success. UTC employees have earned over 39,000 degrees through the scholarship program.
In 2014, Chenevert announced he was stepping down as CEO of UTC. This surprised many because of UTC’s ongoing success. Now enjoying semi-retirement and pursuing his passion, engineering and designing yachts while working part time as an exclusive advisor for Goldman Sachs.