Some people make it to the top easily. Some are given a head start by being born into money. Born in 1958, Louis Chenevert, a Canadian businessman, has had neither. He has literally made his success in the manufacturing and financial services industries the old fashioned way – through hard work and through adhering to his own high code of conduct. From being in production management at General Motors, Chenevert is now an advisor for Goldman Sachs and the CEO of United Technologies (UTC).
Interesting development in the aerospace sector: https://t.co/9xzKKNQ3sH
— Louis Chenevert (@louis_chenevert) February 20, 2018
Since manufacturing’s heyday in the United State during the 1950’s, well known brands like RCA, Zenith, Philco and Bethlehem Steel have all folded. But, United Technologies Corporation, a $63 billion dollar diversified manufacturing company located in Hartford, Connecticut, has stayed afloat and prospered as the shift to the service and technology age has taken shape. If not for Chenevert, this would not have been the case.
Karl Krapek, one of Chenevert’s business associate at General Motors, encouraged him to make a move into the burgeoning aerospace industry, noting that Chenevert’s experience with assembly lines, as well as his decisiveness and operational expertise, would be invaluable in that new setting. Krapek was right.
In 1999, after just a little time in the job, Chenevert became President of P&W, a large business unit of UTC, which now has 33,000 employees. P & W manufactures and sells aircraft engines to military and civilian companies worldwide. Chenevert’s gift of looking at situations anew and turning around organizations is what made P & W a big success. For example, Chênevert thought that the company could make money by elevating its geared turbofan (GTF) engine. After being named the Chairman of UTC in 2006 and investing $10 billion into the GTF engine, his vision became a reality. Today, the GTF engine powers more than 70 aircraft at 14 major airlines, and has cut emissions by 50% and fuel consumption by 16%.
Chenevert has weathered the storms and stayed the course, inspiring those working with him to do the same. His determination and business acumen has been an asset all along the way – and has made a huge difference in his life and the lives of many others.