The Longstanding Legend of Louis Chênevert

Louis Chênevert is a Canadian businessman most notably known as the former CEO and chairman of United Technologies Corporation (UTC). He received his bachelor’s degree in production management from HEC Montréal, and in May of 2011, he received an honorary doctorate from HEC Montréal. Because of his generous contributions to the aviation industry, he was named Person of the Year by the Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine during that same year.

Before working for UTC, Chênevert worked for General Motors for 14 years before moving to Pratt & Whitney Canada. He was elected president in 1999, after working for Pratt & Whitney for six years. He joined UTC in 2006 and began moving up the ranks soon after. In 2008, Chênevert became CEO of UTC, and two years later he became chairman of the board. Read more about Louis at

Chênevert was elected CEO in the midst of a recession yet he did not sacrifice production or employees by engaging in offshoring wholesale or outsourcing work. UTC was one of few companies that avoided layoffs. Shares rose from $37 to $117 during Chênevert’s tenure, and in 2010, he orchestrated UTC’s $16.3 billion acquisition of Goodrich, which is one of the biggest deals in aerospace history.

Louis Chênevert contributes UTC’s success to three simple factors. First, UTC is focused. UTC focuses on two broad markets: building technologies and aerospace. Then, how can these markets or submarket complement one another? Otis elevators and escalators in conjunction with Carrier air conditioning offers companies a one-off solution. Read more at French Tribune.

The second factor is that UTC balances its range of businesses between different types of markets and buyers. Jet engines may be in demand one season and the next season its military engines. It’s important to have that balance and flexibility to move and shift with the market. UTC also balances its time and efforts between new production and the maintenance of delivered products.

The last factor is imagination. Have long-term goals and imagine and innovate for the long run. Ask yourself where the market is going, then cater your efforts in that direction. One of the ways UTC does this is through reduction and conservation. UTC has reduced its consumption of water by 53% and its emissions of gases by 26% since 1997.

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