Louis Chenevert had been preparing to be a success his entire life. His dream as a young child was to become the chief executive officer one day and run a prestigious business. That is exactly what he did.
He would begin attending the HEC Montréal business school where he would obtain a bachelors degree in production management. Since this is an affiliate school of the University of Montréal its prestige carried him far.
His first job after graduating was as a production general manager. Working for General Motors he would oversee the production of the Pontiac line and ensure quality control and cost-effectiveness.
In 1993 he would be hired by the aerospace engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. He worked as the chairman and vice President for nearly six years before he was offered the role of president of the company.
The United Technologies Corporation would pick him up there and it was in 2006 with his eight year run as chief executive officer that he would become a legend in the business world. He was able to take the stock up to $117 which was a 200% increase from the measly $37 a share it had before his arrival. During his run, the United Technologies Corporation would raise the dividend payment by 10%. They had not failed to pay dividends once in 77 years. To put icing on the cake, the United Technologies Corporation would generate twice as much shareholder return as any of the S&P 500 companies or the Dow Jones industrial.
This all occurred because he focused on diversifying the United Technologies Corporation. He continued to research and create jet engines for both commercial airlines in the military. This is why his Sikorsky unit became the largest producer of the United States Army helicopters in the world. However, he also opened up other avenues of profit.
He would acquire the escalator company Otis and use that to grow the corporate infrastructure contracts he had. He would also dedicate one of his Connecticut-based factories to produce heating and air-conditioning and refrigeration. This climate and control factory stabilized their profit.