Originally from Montreal, Louis Chenevert had been a top executive in the aerospace and manufacturing industry for many years. He is a graduate of HEC Montreal which is part of the University of Montreal’s Business School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in production management there. After graduating he worked for General Motors for a number of years before joining Pratt & Whitney Canada as an executive. He then worked for Pratt & Whitney before joining United Technologies Corp. In 2008 he was elected as the new president and chief executive officer of this firm. He became the chairman in 2010. He held all three of these positions until November 2014 when he chose to retire from that industry.
United Technologies Corp. has clients around the world who buy airplane parts from them. During his time at this company Louis Chenevert leadership led to big advances in the technology they could offer their clients. One huge advance he was instrumental in developing was a new geared turbofan engine. Many airlines started installing this engine in their planes once they learned about it. This engine has 20% better fuel burn than plane engines that came before it, is 50% quieter, and because it has significantly fewer parts than prior engines it is easier and cheaper to maintain.
Louis Chenevert says that he has learned to keep a close eye on office politics. He doesn’t engage in it himself and he has seen how disruptive it can be. He says that United Technologies Corp. lost some great leaders because of internal politics which caused them to lose sight of executing on business initiatives. He says that he also learned to quickly get rid of people who aren’t aligned with a business’ agenda. He says that energy drainers are particularly vexing to him.
He said in an interview that he has been a successful entrepreneur because he always makes sure that calculated risk taking is rewarded at the company’s he has been a leader in. He enjoys getting a great team together where the whole becomes much greater than the parts.