THOMAS W. LASORDA
Thomas W. LaSorda
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President, Chrysler Group
To have grown up in a family of nine children, in a house measuring 84 square metres, isn't a typical beginning for the head of a global car manufacturer.
Nor is having a grandfather who once had to go to jail for starting a strike against that same company.
Nevertheless, from these origins, Windsor alumnus Thomas LaSorda (B.A., B.Comm., 1977; MBA 1980) eventually rose to the top of the Chrysler Group, becoming a member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler AG in May, 2004 and CEO of the auto giant's Chrysler Group in September, 2005.
Mr. LaSorda was born on July 24, 1954, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, the son a blue-collar Chrysler worker. During his studies at the University, he worked bagging groceries at a local grocery store and on the assembly line of a wheel manufacturer. The work paid the bills, but didn't satisfy him.
"I always wanted to run something," Mr. LaSorda told Forbes, an American business magazine. "I wanted to make money."
He graduated from the University of Windsor in 1977 with both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate degree. He then received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) also from the University of Windsor in 1980. In 1977, Mr. LaSorda started his professional career with Chrysler rival General Motors. He worked for GM for the next 23 years, joining the Chrysler Group in 2000.