Lee Iacocca built his career by becoming president of two of the most recognizable and successful automotive companies in the United States.
His work at the Chrysler Corporation is what made the company and this business leader the household names they are today.
Lee Iacocca – Uphill Climb To Success
Things did not always come easy for Iacocca. His success in the automotive industry was a result of a lot of hard work and perseverance as Iacocca climbed his way to the top.
With a degree in industrial engineering, Iacocca joined the Ford Motor Company and became its engineer. After a while, he transferred to the sales department and then to product development. Many people have credited Iacocca for conceptualizing the Ford Mustang and the Ford Pinto, two of the company’s most successful products.
However, Iacocca was not getting along with Henry Ford II. He was eventually fired. This was when the Chrysler Corporation enlisted his services to join their ranks as president. As its chief, he reduced the number of products being offered by the company and streamlined its operations. Afterward, rather than declaring bankruptcy, he sought and secured a loan from the United States government.
Iacocca also launched new vehicles for the resuscitated automotive company that brought them their first profit in years. Because of the oil crisis, the small, fuel-saving cars that Iacocca introduced to the market were an instant hit.
He also launched the minivan, which is still the Chrysler Corporation’s top-selling vehicle to this day. While under Iacocca’s leadership, the company also acquired AMC, which gave them the Jeep division.
The Lee Iacocca Quick Bio
Full Name: Lido A. Iacocca
Birthdate: October 15, 1924
Company: Chrysler Corporation
Industry: Automotive and Aerospace
Key success traits: perseverance, ingenuity
Iacocca: An Autobiography, which was co-written by Iacocca, was one of the best-selling non-fiction books in the years 1984 and 1985. He is currently working on a new book on leadership, which will be released in 2007.
After his wife died from diabetes, Iacocca became highly involved in campaigning for research on this disease. In fact, his company that makes products from olive oil donates all its profits to research for diabetes.
Iacocca has one of the largest collections of Matchbox cars in the world.