Former Delphi Corp. chief Steve Miller has left the turnaround business to become chairman of a private equity firm in New York.
Miller, 68, today joined MidOcean Partners, a group with major investments in such companies as the Sbarro Inc. restaurant chain, Totes Isotoner Corp. and Bushnell Corp., the optical products maker, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
He left Delphi as board chairman in October when the auto supplier was bought out of bankruptcy by lenders that had supplied Delphi with the money to operate during the Chapter 11 reorganization.
Miller, who played key roles in overseeing restructurings at Federal-Mogul Corp., Bethlehem Steel Corp. and Chrysler Corp., will advise Mid-Ocean in identifying potential investments and work with the firm’s executive board, the Journal said.
Commenting to the newspaper, Miller said he was leaving the turnaround business for a fresh start. “It really can take the stuffing out of you,” he was quoted as saying.
A spokesman for Mid-Ocean did not immediately return phone calls this afternoon. Miller also did not return a call placed to his office at Mid-Ocean.
Miller took Delphi into bankruptcy in October 2005, and ran the company during most of the four years that it languished in bankruptcy. He made friends and enemies for taking on the UAW during the bankruptcy.
Miller initially asked the union to accept a 75 percent pay cut to $9 an hour, saying he wanted to align Delphi’s wages with those of competitors. But that offer prompted the union to leave the bargaining table for months. That delay, coupled with the failure of a buyout effort, delayed a restructuring so long that the credit window snapped shut on Delphi in 2008 before the company could raise exit financing.
General Motors Co., Delphi’s largest customer, ultimately took charges of more than $10 billion to finance most of the restructuring and worker buyouts that allowed Delphi to leave Chapter 11 in October.