2003 Outstanding Business Leader
Chairman and CEO, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group
Joseph Cappy has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group since 1997, when the car rental company was spun off from Chrysler in an initial public offering. He had overseen Chrysler’s car rental units, which included Snappy Rent A Car, since 1993.
With a broad background in finance, marketing and management, Cappy has steered Dollar Thrifty through the challenges that have beleaguered the travel industry over the last two years. Not only was the company the only profitable major car rental operation for the first quarter of 2002, but it also has begun implementing an aggressive growth strategy to streamline operations and acquire franchised operations in key markets. Dollar Thrifty was listed among the Fortune 1,000 this year.
Cappy began his career with Ford Motor Co., where he held various financial, sales and marketing roles before being appointed general marketing manager of the Lincoln-Mercury division in 1980.
In 1982, he joined American Motors Corporation as vice president of the marketing group and was named AMC president and CEO in 1986. The following year, he moved to the Chrysler Corporation, where he oversaw the Jeep/Eagle Division.
In 1989, Cappy was named vice president of brand development for Chrysler and in 1990 was put in charge of the company’s international operations. In 1993, he became vice president for Chrysler’s technologies and rental car operations.
Cappy is an active corporate citizen. Under his leadership, Dollar Thrifty has contributed more than $1 million in charitable giving to Tulsa organizations.
Cappy chaired the Tulsa Area United Way Campaign in 1999 and served as United Way chairman in 2000. He is past president of the Indian Nations Council of the Boy Scouts of America. His other community roles include serving on the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, on the Board of Directors for BOK Financial Corp., on the Philbrook Museum Board of Trustees, and as president of the Board of Trustees of the Tulsa Community Foundation. He is past chairman of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and serves on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition.