Francisco Anthony Frank Lorenzo (born May 19, 1940) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is most famous for his takeover of Eastern Air Lines, and his leadership of Texas International Airlines and its successor holding company Texas Air Corporation between 1972 and 1990, through which he formed or acquired a number of major U.S. airlines including Continental Airlines, Eastern Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, New York Air and People Express Airlines.
As an airline manager, he gained a reputation of union busting, stemming from his leadership during the 1983 bankruptcy of Continental that enabled the company to void its union contracts, and during the strike and bankruptcy of Eastern that eventually led to its permanent shutdown in 1991. Lorenzo’s history is contentious, both despised by unions and admired by airline strategists. In 1990, after Lorenzo liquidated his holdings after 18 years in the airline industry, Alfred E. Kahn, the main architect of airline deregulation, offered this perspective on Lorenzo’s leadership: I don’t think there is any question that he saved Continental, but his tactics obviously didn’t work when he took over Eastern.Since 1990, Lorenzo has been chairman of Savoy Capital, Inc., professionally devoted to asset management, private investments and venture capital, as well as a number of philanthropic activities.