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18. Lee Iacocca

In case there’s any lingering doubt, current Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli is no Lee Iacocca. When Iacocca arrived at Chrysler, during a time of record losses at the company, he cut inventories by $1 billion, reduced the white-collar staff by 50 percent, and turned Chrysler around—not with government loans, but with $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. Iacocca repaid the loans ahead of time and the Treasury made a profit of $300 million.

THE STAT: In 1992, the year Iacocca retired, the company recorded a $700 million profit. Last year, Chrysler, now privately held, lost $8 billion.

By Portfolio.com