Louis R. Chenevert is a highly successful Canadian businessman who is best known for his time as the CEO of United Technologies Corporation (UTC). Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Chenevert also served as a production manager for General Motors, and he is a current advisor to Goldman Sachs. However, Chenevert isn’t one of the lucky few who was born rich; he had to work to attain his level success. Recently, Mr. Chenevert participated in an interview with ReleaseFact that discussed his life and career.
Louis Chenevert was born to a middle-class family in Montreal in 1958. He expressed an interest in business from a young age, and attended the University of Montreal’s HEC School of Business, where he graduated with a degree in production management. This degree helped him land his first major job with General Motors in Quebec, and he worked as a production manager there for fourteen years before deciding he needed a change in his career. He soon transitioned from the automobile industry to the aerospace industry, joining aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney’s Canadian branch.
Six years later, in 1999, Chenevert was promoted to President of P&W in recognition of his success–in just one year, he was able to help the company cut manufacturing costs by 10 percent. P&W Canada, however, wasn’t doing well when Chenevert was appointed President. Yet he persevered and reversed this downward trend, and when a market decline was affecting most other businesses in the industry, he made several improvements to P&W’s management and manufacturing to protect the company from more serious losses.
Eventually, UTC, of which Pratt & Whitney is a subsidiary, appointed Chenevert their new Chairman in 2006. By 2008 he was the Chairman and CEO, a position he would serve in until 2014. He left UTC in an excellent financial position, delivering an 84 percent total return to shareholders.
As part of his business career, Louis Chenevert has also been involved in a number of other ventures. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, and he is also also Chairman of the Yale Cancer Center Advisory Board. In addition, Mr. Chenevert has remained active in supporting his alma mater by chairing the University of Montreal’s International Advisory Board and co-founding Friends of HEC Montreal.