Born in Montréal, Louis Chênevert is a legend in the world of Canadian business. Throughout his career, he’s found ways to make his presence felt in a number of industries. He’s even become well-known in the States.
Chênevert was educated at HEC Montreal, the oldest business school in Canada. After graduation, he got his career started at General Motors Canada. He ended up staying there for 14 years, working his way up the ranks. Following that experience, Louis Chênevert found himself at Pratt & Whitney Canada. After seven years there, he departed for United Technologies Corporation.
UTC was an interesting challenge for Chênevert, but one he was wildly successful at. He joined the UTC team as COO in 2006. By 2008, he was CEO. UTC is a multinational corporation that has a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. In this role, it was necessary to be able to think long-term. At times, Chênevert was charged with creating 30-year plans.
Much of this was due to the nature of UTC’s clients. They include military forces from around the world. In making airplane engines, it’s important to make something durable that can stand the test of time. Safety is also a huge consideration.
Two of the most important things Chênevert did at UTC were managing personalities and nurturing talent. UTC is a big ship. Everyone wants to be involved in steering it. Every single client wants to be heard, too. Louis Chênevert’s people skills were crucial in keeping everyone informed and happy.
Talent is particularly important in a business like UTC. The best engineers are needed to create the best products. If they’re going to stick around, those people will also need to feel heard and acknowledged. Again, Chênevert excelled in doing this.
Chênevert credits his listening skills and ability to follow-through as keys to his career success. He knows that C-level executives can best achieve efficiencies by listening to their employees.