Convergence Economics Personal Technology

A Renewed Kodak

From the looks of this video (shared Tuesday at the NAA/ASNE conference) Kodak is making the same sort of transformation that IBM has done at least twice. (tip) Watch and share (sit tight the first 15 seconds… it’s not what it first appears to be!)

What’s remarkable in this age of corporate plundering (by senior management) is that the current leadership seems to be pro-active (that’s the McClatchy editorial spin):

Today the company’s revenues are about back to where they were before the plunge, thanks to a massive restructuring and realignment of its business to digital products. The workforce is dramatically smaller (they shuttered 11 of 14 film factories); some business units (like a massive machine shop) were spun-off as employee-operated firms that now serve the general public; retirements were managed carefully; and it was all done in largely unionized plants without a strike.

The CEO’s pay (Antonio Perez) increased 50 percent in 2007 (to $11.17 million – $6.34 million of that was stocks and options), according to an April 2008 article in SmartMoney. But “Kodak’s stock, which skidded to a 30-year low of $16.66 in January, fell 6 cents to $18.64 in trading Wednesday.” There’s a bit of a disconnect there that’s at odds with the McClatchy spin.

Converting the bulk of its business from high-profit film to more highly competitive digital technology cost Kodak $3.4 billion from 2004 through 2007. It chopped its work force from 64,000 to 26,900, eliminating 4,275 jobs in 2007 alone and selling a health-imaging unit that employed 8,100 people.

However, compared to former CEO Fisher, Perez looks under-paid. A 1997 Time article examines CEO pay:

Kodak’s George Fisher got a two-year contract extension and 2 million stock options earlier this year when word leaked that he was under consideration for a job as president of AT&T. Kodak had poached Fisher from Motorola.

Fisher oversaw the “downsizing” of 20,100 workers and an estimated “additional 16,600 layoffs by 1999.”

Perez took over in 2005, with annual compensation of $10.4 million — triple his salary in 2004.

That CEO salary issue always sets my teeth on edge.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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