Up Front: HONCHOS
CALL IT AN IACOCCA-MERCIAL
LEE IACOCCA IS BACK DOING what he does best: promoting himself. Despite his recent losing streak, the former Chrysler chairman is making a video series giving the secrets of his success. Forget his messy public divorce. Forget his role in Kirk Kerkorian's belly-flopped bid for Chrysler. This September, the 70-year-old Iacocca, who gained fame pitching Chryslers, will take to the air in an infomercial hawking his video series, Power and Persuasion: The Wisdom of Lee Iacocca.
Iacocca, who won't comment, has signed with Guthy-Renker, an infomercial company that put itself on the map by pitching Victoria Principal skin-care products. Greg Renker, the company's president, says he won Iacocca's service in a bidding war. "Lee's got a lot of admirers who are going to want to know the secrets of his success," says Renker, who won't discuss Lee's troubles.
Miffed that he teamed up with Kerkorian, Chrysler directors won't let him cash in $31 million worth of stock options. And they are scrapping plans to name a new headquarters building in his honor. Well, Iacocca has a bunch of other business interests to compensate. For one, he sits on the board of New World Communications Group, which owns 37.5% of Guthy-Renker. EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Ronald Grover