Louis Chenevert: From Jets to Elevators

Gregory Hayes, current CEO of United Technologies, was recently asked what kind of legacy he wants to leave behind at the company. He answered that he believes the company should be at least in as good, if not better, shape than when took over.

By looking at the numbers, this seems to be the case so far. The company has created a revolution of sorts by creating a jet engine that is far superior to anything in its class. Called the GTF or geared turbofan, the engine is being used by 14 airlines in just a couple of years since its release. Considered to be the most efficient and clean engine, the GTF is a success story that involves a lot of hard work from a lot of people.

The supply chain to build the engines is located in almost all 50 states. The assembly plants are located in several different locations in the country. United Technologies invests nearly $1.3 billion in service centers for present and future customers. A total of $10 billion had been spent so far in the development of this particular engine. This is all money and jobs that are being kept in the US. What makes this company unique is that it has spent nearly $1 billion towards education programs for its employees and nearly 39,000 employees were able to earn their degrees through this program.

Louis Chenevert was the former boss at United Technologies. He became CEO in 1993 and guided the company to become the powerhouse it is today. What is even more impressive about this is that he did it despite the company being located in Hartford, Connecticut, which is not exactly the cheapest place to do manufacturing. In fact, as the rest of the nation was slipping and sliding in manufacturing after WWII, United Technologies improved its performance. Louis Chenevert was instrumental in turning the company into an aerospace as well as a construction related company, with the purchase of Otis elevators and escalators as well as BF Goodrich. Today, thanks to Chenevert, United Technologies is one the leading innovators as well as manufacturers in its field.

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