The Turnaround Kid: What I Learned Rescuing America’s Most Troubled Companies

In 1979, while also moonlighting to save the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from ruin, Steve Miller left a mid-level executive career at Ford to join Lee Iacocca and Jerry Greenwald in rescuing Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy. At Chrysler, Miller was fanatical about everyone sharing pain—including executives who agreed to $1 salaries—and reward, and used politicians, the media and language to skillful advantage; he refused to use the word bankruptcy. After completing a much-lauded, successful turnaround, Miller left the company in 1992 and embarked on a series of jobs managing corporations that were near collapse. The rescue efforts Miller describes reveal how his approach to corporate disaster changed radically. By the time he arrived at the Delphi Corporation in 2005, he took the company into bankruptcy while managing to circumvent changing bankruptcy laws, refused to speak to the media and enraged workers and creditors by securing executive bonuses. This strong, straightforward business autobiography also lightly touches upon Miller’s personal life and his wife’s struggles with cancer. Miller’s is a gripping, understated story and an important business book.
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