Louis R. Chênevert is a Canadian entrepreneur who had an extremely successful tenure as the CEO and Chairman of the Board at United Technologies Corporation. UTC builds the most advanced commercial and military jet engines in the world as well as being the world leader in the manufacture of elevators through their company Otis Elevator.
Louis holds a business administration degree from HEC Montreal as well as a pair of doctorate honoris causa awarded to him from HEC and Concordia University respectively. His long career in the business world has included time with General Motors and Pratt & Whitney Canada. He is known as a revolutionary thinker who truly understands the dynamics of the business world. During his tenure with United Technologies, the company not only survived in an ultra-competitive business market full of foreign competition and heavy regulations but has thrived and reached new heights of success.
Louis looked back on some of these accomplishments at United Technologies in a recent interview and gave his thoughts on what makes for successful entrepreneurship. He stressed that business is, firstly and foremostly, about understanding the customer’s needs and being able to delight them with your ability to meet those needs. Following this mantra and combining that with a true passion for innovating the most revolutionary products is what he believes made UTC so successful during his tenure at the top.
Major innovations in the areas of airplane and helicopter engine and body construction, the acquisition of Goodrich Aerospace and obtaining the rights to the next generation of Gulfstream G500 and G600 are seen by Louis as the major accomplishments realized by the company during his time as CEO and Chairman. His advice for entrepreneurs looking to obtain high levels of success revolves around being passionate and optimistic. Perhaps even more important, you must have the right team working for you. While Louis was at United Technologies he always focussed on operations and engineering talent and made sure that his people knew that they were appreciated. He believes that with this kind of ethic, combined with passion and optimism, you can overcome any of the obstacles that the business world throws at you.