Louis Chenevert is an individual with intense determination that knows how to build and expand a business from the ground up. His time as CEO of United Technologies Corporation was one where he emphasized efficiency in everything that he and the company did. He was elected CEO of the corporation in April 2008 and he went on to become chairman in January 2010. He retired from the corporation in 2014.
Much like the Indian proverb, if you ask Louis Chenevert how you eat an elephant, he will simply say, “one bite at a time.” You obviously do not become CEO of a company overnight. Prior to Chenevert’s time as CEO he was a director at the company from 2006 to 2008. This powerful business leader has also spent time at Goldman Sachs, General Motors and Pratt & Whitney. During a recent interview, he reflected on his time as chief executive at United Technologies:
Chenevert had a number of objectives while he was CEO of the firm. First of all, he was looking to strengthen their portfolio with some new products. These would include such things as the f135 Engine, which improved military propulsion, and an update on the GTF engine, which had 20% better fuel burn, 50% reduction in noise, and parts that lasted 30% longer.
Chenevert also commented on how he brings ideas to life. He believes that a focus on operational talent, engineering and working on exceeding customer expectations contributes to an environment where ideas can flourish. He likes to focus on small teams and he has a disdain for internal politics. His entrepreneurial style includes relentless follow-up and a focus on the ability to give executives the tools to continue to be an asset to the company.
Finally, Louis Chenevert believes that in order to be a successful leader and entrepreneur you have to focus on everyone on your team. This would include individuals who do not align with the core principles of the company. To put it bluntly, these “energy drainers” should probably be removed from the team, simply because of the fact that Louis Chenevert believes that where the company flourishes, the economy will improve as well and it lead to even more hiring.