Ironically, the Chrysler Corp. was born out of near-bankruptcy in 1921. Walter Chrysler purchased the financially struggling Maxwell Motor Corp., brought its finances back in order and then renamed the company after himself. In 1928 Chrysler expanded his empire by purchasing Dodge and creating the DeSoto and Plymouth brands. The automaker flirted with bankruptcy again in the early 1980s, but legendary Ford executive Lee Iacocca took the top spot, ushered in the K-car and minivan, and brought the company back from the brink of extinction. In November 1998 Chrysler became a division of the newly formed company DaimlerChrysler AG. Daimler then sold Chrysler to a private equity firm in 2007. Chrysler finally succumbed to bankruptcy in 2009 but was resuscitated once again, saved this time by a government-assisted bailout and Italian automaker Fiat, which has a majority stake in the company.