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Board questioned UTX chief over priorities before departure: Report

United Technologies
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United Technologies

The unexpected retirement of United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert was precipitated in part by what company directors viewed as his excessive attention to private interests, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Two weeks after making a brief stop in Taiwan to oversee the construction of a luxury 110-foot yacht, Chenevert abruptly departed the industrial giant. The Journal reports that pressure had been building on the CEO from the board of directors, who felt that he was less engaged at his job than he should have been.

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Sources within the company told the publication that a board member inquired about Chenevert's priorities, and why he seemed less involved in UTX's operational matters. Ultimately, the 20-year UTX veteran decided to retire, and directors opted to accept his resignation in a three-hour pre-Thanksgiving meeting.

Edward Kangas, then United Technologies' lead independent director, questioned Chenevert directly after he stopped in Taiwan to check in on the construction of his latest yacht, The Journal reported.

"It wasn't a crisis. It was just a growing issue and concern which caused me, with counsel from the board, to discuss with Louis his priorities—personal and business," Kangas told the Journal in an interview.

The full report can be found at The Wall Street Journal's website. (subscription required)