For the past thirty years, Steve Miller has done the messy, unpleasant work of salvaging America's lost companies with such success that the Wall Street Journal has dubbed him "U.S. Industry's Mr. Fix It." From his very first crisis assignment as point man for Lee Iaccoca's rescue team at Chrysler, Miller built an international reputation while fixing major problems in such varied industries as steel, construction, and health care. Most recently, as chairman and CEO of the bankrupt automotive parts manufacturer Delphi Corporation, he has confronted head-on the major issues threatening the survival of Detroit's Big Three.
A battle is being fought in the heart of industrial America--or what is left of it--Miller observes. In the auto industry as well as every manufacturing corporation, management and labor are at loggerheads over wages and the skyrocketing costs of employee benefits. The way out of this battle is often painful and Miller is deeply aware of the high price individual workers and many communities have had to pay as a result.
In this frank and unsparing memoir, Miller reveals a rarely seen side of American management. Miller recounts the inside story of the many turnaround jobs that have led to his renown as Mr. Fix It. But he also paints an intimate picture of his relationship with Maggie Miller, his wife of forty years, with whom Miller shares the credit for his success. Described by Miller as "my mentor and tormentor," Maggie served as his most trusted adviser and kept him focused on what truly matters until her death from brain cancer in 2006.
A deeply moving personal story and timely snapshot of the state of American manufacturing and what it will take to restore it to profitability, The Turnaround Kid is Steve Miller's fascinating look at his education as an American executive.
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. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 14, 2008
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