AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee A. Iacocca, his voice cracking with emotion, bade goodbye to shareholders yesterday at what is expected to be the last annual meeting he will preside over as the company's chief executive.
"Nobody gets to be a cowboy forever," said Mr. Iacocca, 68, borrowing a line from the 1970 Western movie "Monte Walsh." "And that includes me."
Having rescued Chrysler from bankruptcy in the early 1980s, Mr. Iacocca had hoped to stick around long enough to lead the company out of its current crisis.
Seemingly resigned to the board of directors' decision last March to install former General Motors executive Robert J. Eaton as his successor at the end of this year, Mr. Iacocca wistfully told shareholders that he still hoped to be remembered as the one who laid the plans for what he said would be Chrysler's second comeback.
The company posted a $256 million operating loss in the first quarter of this year, on top of 1991 losses totaling $795 million.