Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have a head start in life to succeed. This is especially true for former United Technologies Corporation (UTC) CEO Louis Chenevert who had a slow start but went on to enjoy an accomplished career.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in production management from HEC Montreal and took a job at General Motors. He continued working there for the next 14 years while rising through the ranks. He was finally promoted to become production manager. This is the longest time he worked for one organization.
With his career showing promise, he left General Motors in 1993 and took a position at Pratt & Whitney an American aerospace manufacturing outfit with worldwide service operations in Connecticut. Pratt & Whitney which is a subsidiary of UTC has lucrative and recession proof contracts with public companies as well as the military. This is as a result of their efficient and well liked aircraft engines that perform exceptionally in civil and military aviation.
Chenevert applied his extensive knowledge in production management and six years later, was named the president of Pratt & Whitney. In 2006 however, he transitioned into UTC and became its president and CEO for the next three years. Later on in March 2006, he was elected as UTC’s chairman.
The apex of his impressive accomplishments happened in 2011. This is the year when he was awarded a honorary degree by his Alma Mater HEC Montreal. It was also in 2011 that Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine named him Person of the Year. In September 2011, Chenevert sealed an $18.4 billion merger deal between UTC and Goodrich. He and Goodrich CEO Marshall Larsen had been involved in confidential deliberative talks about it for over a year. In the years 2011 and 2012, he also served as the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Business Council.
When the two giant aircraft systems manufacturing organizations merged into one, they created a super company and with the commercial and military contracts that UTC was in possession of, they became an industry leader.
Even during the recession, he steered his company UTC into financial prosperity when economies were crumbling. Louis Chenevert’s has truly had a remarkable career, and continues to cultivate his passions.