In Nardelli, Chrysler Found Its Maverick

Cerberus relying on tough-talking new CEO to cut costs
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2007 4:30 AM CDT
Chrysler chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli, right, standing with vice chairman and president Tom LaSorda, is introduced to the media at the Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., Monday, Aug. 6, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Former Home Depot chief Bob Nardelli has a reputation for being a brusque, hard-edged maverick, and that’s exactly what his new bosses at Chrysler want, Reuters reports. Cerberus Capital Management hopes to stem losses at the automaker by cutting costs, particularly in the delicate area of unionized workers. Nardelli’s gruff style may improve numbers—or it may wind up confounding labor negotiations.

Cerberus hopes Nardelli’s ride at Chrysler will be smoother than his bumpy tenure at Home Depot, where he angered employees and shareholders. But the private equity firm's decision to keep former CEO Tom LaSorda as Chrysler’s president may represent a “good cop/bad cop” tactic with labor—in which Nardelli will be looking out for the bottom line.