David Cote

Honeywell Executive Chairman

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What's the Hardest Part About Being a CEO?

I don't know, I really like the job, so I'm not sure sometimes what the hardest thing is, because I like problems and I like solving things, but I might answer it a little differently…

Running Time: 0:54

What Advice Would You Give a First-Time Manager?

It's funny, 'cause when I went from TRW, where I had about 75,000 people, and went to Honeywell, where I had about, I guess, 105 or 110,000 at the time, I was asked by analysts,…

Running Time: 1:35

What Is Your Must-Ask Job Interview Question?

One of the things that I'll do, especially for internal candidates, is I'll ask them, "What are you going to do the same, and what are you going to do differently than your predecessor?" And what I'm…

Running Time: 1:59

What's the Most Surprising Thing About Being a CEO?

As complex as it may look from the outside or as simple as people try to make it sound like it is sometime, to really do the job well, it is one hell of a…

Running Time: 0:12

When Do You Know It's Time to Quit Your Job?

I'd say it depends on where you are in your career. So, this is my third company that I've been with, and if we look at it, I left GE because it wasn't going to…

Running Time: 1:25

How Do You Deal With Legacy Employees?

Well, performance matters, and that's a big part of what we talk about in Honeywell. I'm not hung up on people feeling like they always need to advance and that it's an upper route kind…

Running Time: 1:06

Do You Have Any Tips for Managing Millennials?

Yeah, mine is probably going to be contrary to what you think of, though, 'cause I'm going to start with a little story. So, 15 years ago, companies amass. We've got Allied Signal, Honeywell, Pitway, three…

Running Time: 2:59

Do You Need a College Education to Succeed?

Do you need a college education to succeed? I find this one funny because it took me six years to finish college, 'cause I hated school and I quit twice. And the only reason I…

Running Time: 2:05

Is Micromanagement Always Bad?

No, no, it depends on what the issue is. And one of the things I've been struck by in the past is this place in North Carolina called The Center for Creative Leadership. And one…

Running Time: 1:34

How Do You Get Executives to Do What You Want?

I would say, first of all, they don't always do what I want, and that's part of the, I call it kinda the push/pull that you have to go through as you develop how you're going…

Running Time: 1:54

If You Could Write a Letter to Your 21-Year-Old Self What Would You Say?

David Cote: Don't be defensive. Betty Liu: Why? David Cote: I tell the story about how one of the things that helps us to get further ahead in life and in a career is first,…

Running Time: 1:43

What Makes Your Blood Boil?

Inefficiency and indecision of all kinds drives me crazy. When I see stuff that I know should be happening, and it isn't, and people should know better, it drives me crazy. 'Cause I think, 15…

Running Time: 0:21

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Office Politics?

I would say, if you have any kind of organization, even if it's only 20 people, there are always politics. It's just how people are. So, the trick is really keeping it at a minimum.…

Running Time: 1:20

What’s the Most Important Skill You Use That School Did Not Teach You?

Well, just about everything. 'Cause I always say, 'cause I say this to any MBA class I talk to or college class that I talk to, is that being smart is not enough. There's lots…

Running Time: 1:09

"Under his leadership, Honeywell’s market cap has grown from $20 billion to about $90 billion"

David Cote is Executive Chairman of Honeywell. He was Honeywell’s Chairman and CEO from 2002 until 2017. Honeywell invents and manufactures technologies that address some of the world’s most critical challenges around energy, safety, security, productivity and global urbanization.

David was elected in March 2014 as a Class B director to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to represent the interests of the public.  In 2012-2013 David served as a founding member of the steering committee of the Campaign to Fix Debt, a bi-partisan effort to build support for a comprehensive U.S. debt reduction plan. David was named Vice Chair of the Business Roundtable (BRT) in 2011 and also chaired its Energy and Environment Committee. In 2010, David was named by President Barack Obama to serve on the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. David was named co-chair of the U.S.-India CEO Forum by President Obama in 2009, and has served on the Forum since July 2005.

David was awarded the 2016 Deming Cup by the W. Edwards Deming Center at Columbia Business School for his operational excellence and for fostering a culture of continuous improvement at Honeywell.  He was also named the 2016 CEO Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Foundation, which supports football coaches at all levels through ongoing education, interaction and networking to drive a safer and better game. In 2014, David was selected for the prestigious Horatio Alger Award, which recognizes dedicated community leaders who have accomplished remarkable achievements through honesty, hard work, self-reliance, and perseverance over adversity. David was named Institutional Investor’s Best CEO in the Capital Goods/Industrial – Electrical Equipment & Multi-Industry category for five straight years (2013-2017).  He has also been recognized as one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s for five straight years (2013-2017) and was named Executive of the Year – Conglomerates at the 2015 American Business “Stevie” Awards.  In 2013, David was named CEO of the Year by Chief Executive, presented the Australian Association’s Award for Excellence, named one of the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM by StemConnectors.org, and received the Corporate Leadership Award from TechAmerica.  He received the Asia Society's Global Leadership Award, the Peter G. Peterson Award for Business Statesmanship from the Committee for Economic Development in 2012, and the Distinguished Achievement Award from B’nai B’rith International in 2011. David also received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Foreign Policy Association in 2007.

David earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire, and, in 2011, the University presented him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.  In 2009, David was made an honorary professor at the Beihang University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Beijing, China. In 2001, David received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.