From Mustang to Minivan: How Lee Iacocca Changed the Auto Industry

Jul 11, 2019 218

True to the tradition of union-management relationships, in the late 1970s, United Auto Workers president Douglas Fraser and Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca had their share of clashes. But in a break from tradition, the two men also respected each other for what they stood for.

Yale management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld recalled a conversation with Fraser in 1988 when Iacocca had briefly considered running for U.S. president. “[Fraser] told me that while [the two] had plenty of differences and fought on many fronts … he would have supported Iacocca for the presidency.” (Fraser later won on a seat on Chrysler’s board as part of its 1979 revival plan.)

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