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Articles

Kodak Emerges From Bankruptcy, But Don’t Expect It To Make Cameras Ever Again

Wed August 21, 2013

Kodak has won court approval of a plan to exit bankruptcy. The company whose name was synonymous with cameras when I was a kid (we bought a “Kodak” whatever brand it happened to be) will not anymore make or sell cameras, film and consumer photo developing. Instead, it will focus on commercial markets: touch-screen sensor components for smartphones and computer tablets, film for the movie industry, commercial printing, packaging, functional printing and professional services.

Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January 2012; it shed off 47,000 employees since 2003, closed 13 factories that made film, paper and chemicals, and shuttered 130 photo laboratories.

Read the story at: Bloomberg.

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10 O'Clock Smile, Videos

10 O’Clock Smile: Paul Simon, Kodachrome and Nikon

Sun January 13, 2013

Here’s a look back to 1973 when Paul Simon immortalized Kodachrome film (and the Nikon camera) with this tongue-in-cheek song. He sure seemed to be a prophet since unfortunately mama did take the Kodachrome away in 2009

Kodachrome, they give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away



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Articles

How Kodak Succumbed to the Digital Age @ Spiegel

Sat February 25, 2012

The Jan. 30, 2012 issue of DER SPIEGEL magazine has an interesting article titled “How Kodak Succumbed to the Digital Age.” As expected, it tells the story of how the company that gave us the KODAK film (“The most important moments of the 20th century were captured on Kodak film“) went “From Small to Huge to Nothing.” The article is now reprinted online on Spiegel and tells a fascinating story seen from the eyes of Robert Shanebrook who worked at Kodak for 35 years. The author has a unique perspective on the rise and fall of Kodak:

Indeed, the story of Kodak is not a simple parable of rise and fall. Instead, it is a complex tale with an ending that is more comforting than one would initially expect.

This misplaced optimism has to do with the bankruptcy of Kodak and its reinvention into a company that is all about… printers — in the hope that the billions of digital pictures will get printed on paper.

Ummm… I think not.

Read the article at: Spiegel.

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Press Releases

Just Press the Shutter and Kodak Will NOT Do The Rest Anymore

Thu February 9, 2012

Perhaps the most famous camera marketing quote ever published was “Just press the shutter and we will do the rest” or some variation to that effect. Well, it won’t be the case anymore since Kodak has decided to stop producing digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames. They will lay off all workers involved in those departments and license the “Kodak” name to one or more third parties who are interested to sell digital cameras, etc. with the kodak brand on them. Kodak will continue to be active in some photographic markets, including desktop inkjet printers and retail-based photo kiosks. The image sensor business was sold a couple of months ago.

PRESS RELEASE

Kodak Focuses Consumer Business On More Profitable Growth Opportunities

Plans to phase out dedicated capture devices business

ROCHESTER, N.Y., February 09 — Eastman Kodak Company (the “Company”) (OTB: EKDKQ.PK) announced today that, as a result of its ongoing strategic review process and commitment to drive sustainable profitability through its most valuable business lines, it plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business – comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames – in the first half of 2012. Kodak will instead expand its current brand licensing program, and seek licensees in these categories. Following this decision, Kodak’s Consumer Business will include online and retail-based photo printing, as well as desktop inkjet printing.

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Press Releases

The End of An Era As Kodak Files For Bankruptcy

Thu January 19, 2012

Eastman Kodak Company and Its U.S. Subsidiaries Commence Voluntary Chapter 11 Business Reorganization

Flow of Goods and Services to Customers to Continue Globally in Ordinary Course; Non-U.S. Subsidiaries Are Not Included in U.S. Filing and Are Not Subject to Court Supervision; Company Secures $950 million in Debtor-in-Possession Financing in U.S.; Kodak’s Reorganization to Facilitate Emergence as Profitable and Sustainable Enterprise

ROCHESTER, N.Y., January 19 — Eastman Kodak Company (“Kodak” or the “Company”) announced today that it and its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for chapter 11 business reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The business reorganization is intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on its most valuable business lines. The Company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in recent years, generating approximately 75% of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011.

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Editorial

Kodak – The End of an Era

Wed January 4, 2012

There is no name more famous in film than Kodak. Nor in cameras… a decade or more ago. In fact, in some developing countries, the very name Kodak became synonymous with cameras, as in, “Don’t forget to bring your Kodak” — meaning don’t forget to bring your camera, whatever brand it may happened to be.

As Eastman Kodak Co. faces the threat of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, its stock trading at less than $1.00, it is only a matter of time before someone buys its good name and slaps it onto generic digital cameras (which Kodak itself does today).

It is good to pause and ponder that things change. Some of us are still clinging to film, optical viewfinder, the traditional mirrored DSLR, brick-and-mortar businesses, … whatever it is you cut your teeth on, came to grips with, learned, became very good at… it will change and be left behind as new ways and technologies take its place.

Today’s kids grow up on digital, the iPod, iPhone, iPad, USB flash drive. What’s a cassette tape, CD player, VHS player, CRT screen, floppy disk? This year 2012, set yourself a new resolution to embrace change. It’s the only constant.

Related Link:

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Press Releases

The Dismantling of Kodak

Tue November 8, 2011

The dismantling of Kodak continues unabated. Just announced is the sales of its image sensor business and it is also looking for interested buyers for many of its best patents. It is not certain whether Kodak will survive the next fiscal year.

PRESS RELEASE

Kodak Sells Image Sensor Business to Platinum Equity

ROCHESTER, N.Y., November 07 —

Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:EK) announced today that it has completed the sale of its Image Sensor Solutions (ISS) business to Platinum Equity in a move that will sharpen Kodak’s operational focus and strengthen its financial position.

While the financial details were not disclosed, Kodak will have continuing access to the image sensor technology involved in this transaction for use in its own products. Kodak has previously communicated that it would sell assets that are not central to its transformation to a profitable, sustainable digital company. This sale is aligned with that strategy to generate cash to complete the transformation.

Included in the sale is a 263,000 square foot facility in Eastman Business Park in Rochester, N.Y., that houses manufacturing and research facilities.

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Press Releases

Imax licenses Kodak technology for digital screens

Sun October 16, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

Imax licenses Kodak technology for digital screens

Oct 16 (Reuters) – Giant movie screen maker Imax Corp will license laser projection technology from struggling Eastman Kodak Co in a deal that will enable more Imax theaters to show digital films.

Imax has licensed from Kodak certain exclusive rights to more than 50 patents covering laser projection technology for digital cinema, the companies said in a statement released on Sunday.

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Articles

A Kodak Moment: The Value of IT

Thu October 13, 2011

The Kodak story is fascinating and tragic at the same time. The name Kodak was once synonymous with cameras and photography but today it seems poised at the threshold of being irrelevant. We like to blame the shortsightedness of key executives for not embracing digital fully and encourage other camera manufacturers not to repeat the Kodak mistake.

However, Robert Plant in a Harvard Business Review paper, puts forward a different perspective on why executives at Kodak were unable to deliver on their first-mover advantage in digital technologies. He singles out Kodak IT’s CIO, Katherine Hudson, as the person who probably blindsided the company by outsourcing IT, considered a noncore value. The resulting layoffs of key personnel, loss of organizational memory, and loss of IT connectivity with the firm meant that the technology staff effectively lost its voice about emergent digital technologies and processes.

Is your company not being as competitive as you think it should be? Perhaps, argues Plant, you should “listen to the voices in the IT organization, value what they do, and think twice about what is core and noncore.” It’s a short and interesting read.

Read “A Kodak Moment to Reconsider the Value of IT.”

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