**UPDATED**: Read more about Louis Chenevert and his career in his recent interview.
How much thought should a business put into its place in the future? A company’s success is not only measured by today’s profits but also its ability to thrive tomorrow. As a businessman, Louis Chenevert was well aware that incorporating innovative technology gives an enterprise a competitive edge in dynamic markets. He also understood that, as a leader, it is one’s obligation to implement innovation, not only to solve current needs, but also to enhance future functionality.
Numerous U.S. manufacturing companies have been on the decline. The impact of falling enterprises to the economy of the country as a whole is unbearable. Employees lose jobs, the economy stagnates, and entire corporations go under. However, due to Louis Chenevert’s significant contributions, the United Technology Corporation (UTC) has managed to stay competitive and on a rising trend without changing its location or oppressing the workers.
About Louis Chenevert
Louis Chenevert was born in Montreal, Quebec and attained a Production Management Bachelor’s Degree from HEC Montreal, a business school affiliated with the University of Montreal. Following graduation, he worked at General Motors for 14 years before moving to Pratt & Whitney Canada in 1993, where he became the president only six years later.
Following his time at Pratt & Whitnet, Chenevert was appointed Chairman of UTC in 2006. He would eventually be promoted to President and CEO, serving until 2014, when he retired from UTC. The following year, in 2015, Chenevert moved on to work in the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs as an executive adviser.
In 2009, Chenevert received the Honor Award from the National Building Museum. He received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, HEC Montreal, in 2011. In the same year, he was named Person of the Year by Aviation Week and Space Technology, a well-known U.S. aviation trade magazine.
During his impressive production management career, Chenevert became very successful, particularly in the fields of technological innovation and leadership, most notably while working at UTC. Whenever talks of legacy emerge at United Technologies Corporation, it is impossible not to mention the immense contributions of Louis Chenevert. Let us take a detailed look at these accomplishments, shall we?
Successes as a Leader
When he was still the president of Pratt & Whitney in 1999, Louis Chenevert noted that the GTF engine could be something extraordinary. He worked towards the realization of this vision upon becoming the CEO of UTC by marrying these two entities. They proceeded to invest more than $10 billion and 20 years into the design and development of the new engine.
The GTF engine would change the industry forever, due to its astonishing levels of efficiency. It reduced fuel consumption by 16%, while atmospheric emissions were lowered by 50%. Currently, the GTF has been integrated into over 70 aircraft by more than 14 airlines. This milestone is attributed to Chenevert’s ability to analyze the present status of the company and predict future investment potential.
Under the leadership of Chenevert, UTC became one of the leading companies to assemble advanced jet engines. It is a leading manufacturing company, specializing not only building helicopters, but also in the development of heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning systems. The aerospace department is the largest producer of items ranging from sensors, gears, and flight control to brakes and actuators.
According to Chenevert, a company does not innovate, people within it do. Investing in technology alone cannot be a guarantee for success. It goes hand in hand with investment in those individuals who work for the company. Hence, while he was the CEO of UTC, Chenevert encouraged the employees to pursue further learning via Employee Scholar Program. Although the result is not entirely realized when the workers are going through the education system, their invaluable contributions become crystal clear afterward.
Employees have since been able to attain degrees in different fields of their own choice. Over the past 20 years, employees have earned about 39,000 degrees as a result of this program. Both Chenevert and the current CEO of UTC, Gregory Hayes, agree that this $1 billion venture has been a worthwhile investment.
Louis Chenevert believed that a leader is not a boss, but a steward. To him, leadership is not an occupation, but a service. His mentality was that a leader should leave an enterprise better than he found it, that he should promote not only technological investments, but also maintain focus on the long-term and short-term goals of the organization as well as the well-being of the company’s personnel. Gregory Hayes has carried on this perspective.
As a result, UTC continues to invest in people and technology with the understanding that the foundation of tomorrow’s success in laid today. Chenevert’s vision with Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine changed the future of the enterprise, as well as the perspective. His willingness to invest in technology became fundamental for the future success of UTC. In wanting to bring the two entities of Pratt & Whitney and UTC together, Chenevert projected a time into the future when this union would bring about employment opportunities to many rising talents.
Chenevert’s exceptional planning attributes have also benefited a broad range of U.S. suppliers and, as a result, the U.S. economy. Only about 20% of GTF’s manufactured parts are manufactured within UTC. The other 80% is outsourced via various U.S contractors. United Technologies Corporation has through various suppliers spent about $40 billion. Chenevert recognized that suppliers play an equally important role in boosting the profit and solidifying the market.
United Technologies Corporation is based in Hartford, Connecticut. It is now a famous company that provides high-tech services and systems to both the building and aerospace industries. Louis Chenevert’s dedication to the course, experience, and innovative mind have been critical to the success of UTC. It now a company with investments across the world. Thanks to his foundation, the company has transformed the aviation industry.