Chrysler Corp., Highland Park, MI
In 1978, Iacocca left Ford Motor Co., where his 21-year career brought him to the presidency, and joined Chrysler as CEO. Kenyon & Eckhardt, his Ford agency, also switched to Chrysler in '79. Battling the Japanese import wave and near-bankruptcy in the '80s, Iacocca starred in TV commercials. Charismatic, dynamic and positive, he persuaded Congress to bail Chrysler out and became possibly the most effective TV spokesman in U.S. history. During the next 14 years, thanks to his 61 Chrysler commercials, Iacocca even figured in presidential politics as a possible candidate.