Discernment and adaptability are not only integral to survival in business, but to success as well. As CEO of United Technologies Corporation for six years, Louis Chenevert showed possession of both these qualities, and in doing so took the more than eighty-year-old company to even greater heights than it had already achieved.
Born in Quebec, Canada, Chenevert earned a bachelor’s Degree in Production Management from HEC Montreal. He worked at General Motors for 14 years, where he became a Production General Manager, before joining the Canadian branch of UTC’s Pratt & Whitney division in 1993. He would become President of the division just three years later and, at a time when the branch was slipping in productivity, his continued focus on inventiveness, imagination and forward thinking would result in marked improvement in its fortunes.
As President between 1999 and 2006, Chenevert oversaw the development of the PW1000G engine – then known as the Geared Turbofan or GTF. Designed to create less ground noise, utilize 16% less fuel and create 50% less emissions than is common for a jet engine, the GTF represented the future of commercial air travel.
Chenevert’s success at Pratt & Whitey launched him into the positions of COO of United Technologies Corporation in 2006, where he would rapidly climb the corporate ladder to become CEO in 2008 and Chairman in 2010, succeeding industry legend and Chairman for more than 30 years, George David.
Having been involved in the Geared Turbofan program, Chenevert understood the sea change the project represented, and when he became CEO of UTC, he would continue to channel the mindset of innovation that had made him successful into continued investment in the GTF. Read This Article for more information.
The engine is now in use by over 70 aircraft across 14 airlines since its commercial debut with Lufthansa in 2016, and even following Chenevert’s resignation as CEO, continues to reap rewards for United Technologies.