While serving as the top executive at United Technologies Corporation (UTC), Louis Chenevert was credited with guiding the company through the 2007 recession that heavily impacted companies around the world. He was the Chairman and CEO of the company from 2006 to 2014. Upon his resignation in December of 2014 the Director of the company, Edward Kangas, took over his role.
Louis Chenevert was born and raised in Quebec, Canada. He attended HEC Montreal and earned a degree in production management. He worked for several years at General Motors before moving on to the airplane engine manufacturing company Pratt & Whitney in 1999. He first joined United Technology as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. It wasn’t long before has promoted to the company’s top position.
Unlike many manufacturing companies in North America, under Louis Chenevert’s leadership, the company declined to outsource jobs to other countries in order to save money. He felt the quality of work by the American workers was too high to compromise by chasing lower salaries. The company, headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, continued to grow while he led it and he led it to a value of $63 billion.
Beyond paying a fair salary to the workers at UTC, Louis Chenevert also took the company’s environmental responsibilities very seriously. The company built jet engines that were used by plane manufacturers around the world. Additionally, Louis Chenevert oversaw the subsidiaries of the company as well including elevator and escalator giant Otis. His company also built helicopters and was one of the largest such manufacturers worldwide.
Louis Chenevert is credited with greatly contributing to the economy of Connecticut. He had acknowledged that there were less expensive places to do business even in the United States but he remained committed to the workforce he had built at the company. Despite these additional costs, UTC had annual returns that were twice that of the average company on the S&P 500. Every year, even during the subprime recession, UTC paid out dividends over the last 70 years.