IdeaMensch recently conducted an interview with Louis Chenevert, the former Chief Executive Officer of United Technologies Corporation (UTC). This interview focused on Louis Chenevert’s career prior to and during his time with United Technologies. The questions touched on subjects such as Louis Chenevert’s philosophy of leadership principles, what changes at UTC during Louis Chenevert’s tenure drove their continuing successes and how some facets of his leadership would be different if he was starting anew.
Interesting development in the aerospace sector: https://t.co/9xzKKNQ3sH
— Louis Chenevert (@louis_chenevert) February 20, 2018
While at UTC, Louis Chenevert instituted new strategies for production efforts. Instead of outsourcing most of the company’s work to overseas factories, UTC and Louis Chenevert moved production into the United States, believing that cheap labor overseas would result in cheaply made products. Subsequent production was concentrated in Connecticut where the top talent could work with the plant workforce to eliminate problems and produce their best results efficiently. Common wisdom at the time was opposed to this type of approach, but UTC was able to survive during the recession and ultimately see its share prices increase from $37 a share to $117 a share under Louis Chenevert’s leadership.
One of the most profound impacts that Louis Chenevert had on UTC while CEO was in engineering the acquisition of the Goodrich Corporation, an aerospace manufacturing company that had been the largest rubber manufacturer in the world prior to becoming an aerospace company. The purpose of acquiring Goodrich was to have an internal producer of aircraft components, which would reduce production costs. The acquisition process took a year to negotiate and plan, and in 2011, UTC bought Goodrich Corporation for $18.4 billion and merged it with another division to ultimately become UTC aerospace systems. This placed UTC in a position to become a multinational conglomerate with a greater influence in the world market.
The last question IdeaMensch asked Louis Chenevert was what was one important strategy that helped him increase the business footprint of UTC. Louis Chenevert answered that a relentless focus, eliminating roadblocks, keeping an open mind and keeping personal contact with the workforce was always his goal. Louis Chenevert also said that surrounding oneself with winners was important, as a leader can only be as good as his or her team. Currently, Louis Chenevert is semi-retired and serves as a Exclusive Advisor with Goldman Sachs, and his proven expertise continues to be valuable.