United Technologies Corporation (UTX) CEO’s Abrupt Retirement Baffles Analysts

United Technologies Corporation

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) has announced the immediate retirement of its CEO, Louis Chenevert.   The company announcement, made on Monday, surprised analyst even as Chenevert is expected to present United Tech’s outlook for 2015 in a meeting with analyst and investors in New York, which has been scheduled about two weeks from now. No reason was given for his abrupt retirement. John Moran,  company spokesman for United Tech said that Chenevert’s retirement has no bearing with the company’s financial condition.

In an email to Wall Street Journal, Chenevert is cited as saying that he wants to spend more time with his family, and also noted that he is proud of the transformation achieved in United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) during his tenure as its CEO. He did not, however, offer any explanation regarding his decision to step down as United Tech’s CEO.

United Technologies Corporation

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) is seen by analysts as one of the most profitable companies in the U.S. under Chenevert’s management. Estimates put shareholders’ return at 84% under Chenevert’s leadership, and the company has also achieved its targeted financial position for 2014. This makes analysts surprised at his decision to retire. The company has affirmed the decision was Chenevert’s alone. He also stepped down as United Tech’s chairman, and Edward Kangas, the company’s independent lead director, is set to serve as a non-executive chairman in his stead.

Gregory Hayes, the chief financial officer of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) for the past six years, will take over Chenevert’s post. Hayes has been with the company for 25 years on end, and he will be tasked with overseeing the company’s expansion programs, notably of its Pratt & Whitney unit as well as its Otis elevator unit in China.

Analyst Mark Reilly of The Wall Street Journal noted that Chenevert is retiring with a substantive amount, valued at approximately $179 million,  taking Monday’s 4 p.m. share price and latest United Tech’s proxy statement as a basis.

This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.

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