WSJ: Ex-Kodak Employees Blast Bonus Plan

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Brian C. Miller, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    WSJ: Ex-Kodak Employees Blast Bonus Plan

    I hope the judge adjudicates fairly. Of course, true fairness in this instance would mean that the executive's pay would be docked, as in a "claw-back," but justice has a nasty tendency to be only found in fantasy land.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    These Kodak executives have been fleecing the company for years, it wouldn't be allowed in most countries.

    Ian
     
  3. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    For the life of me I cannot understand why Kodak's executive team is not in jail, smashing big rocks into little rocks. They are pure criminals for how they have trashed that company.
     
  4. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    As far as I've heard they haven't done anything criminal. It isn't illegal to make bone-headed business decisions nor to find other people bone headed enough to pay you handsomely to make them. :sad:

    But they certainly shouldn't get a penny of bonuses while the company is on the rocks. Can't throw 'em in jail, can't even kick 'em in the butt, but at least don't pay them extra.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    OMG!! WTF?? Make them be productive for the first time in their lives?
     
  6. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    That's destructive, not productive.

    After they break 'em up, have them glue the little rocks back together into big rocks. :wink:

    Seriously, I'm as frustrated as anyone else but I don't see criminality. Where's the hostility at the board who has put up with this crap?

    Part of the problem is in the very nature of the stock market and publicly held companies. People invest for short term, or at least relatively short term, gain. Long term profit and sustainability will be sacrificed in a heart beat anytime it's possible to do so in order to improve this quarter's bottom line. I'm very glad I work for a private company that can, and does, take a long term view.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Anarchy for the Rich!

    No Banker Left Behind!

    Do Kodak employees really think they'll get what's theirs without a fight? Sad.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Split them up into two teams. One breaking rocks and one gluing them together. After two hours, change sides.


    Steve.
     
  9. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    I don't think so. Sounds like they're fighting.
     
  10. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    And thus you have zeroed in on the real meaning of "American exceptionalism." :D
     
  11. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Outstanding! :smile:
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i think the workers don't have a chance.
    the bonuses are already a done-deal ...

    its too bad that GEastman doesn't do
    a dickens novel sort of thing and scare the
    daylights out of the current execs for wrecking
    the company he built with his own sweat and blood.

    its hard to believe GE paid the roll film-minister something like 11milliion
    in damages back in 1910 or so and then went on to build kodak ...
    i guess that's the difference between a visionary and a ceo ...
     
  13. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Consider this. If Kodak's management team's goal was to extract as much money out of Kodak while winding down the company into nothing, what would they do different than they are now?
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The ritual of hara-kiri would be most appropriate, honorable sir.
     
  16. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    What did the Olympus executives do? They got arrested, but none of them slit their stomachs. The Olympus execs committed fraud, but the Kodak execs have simply been stupid. There's no legal penalty for simply being stupid.
     
  17. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I dont think Kodak's execs have been stupid at all. I think long ago they decided to throw in the towel and give up on the company. Knowing this, they then decided to extract as much cash and value out of Kodak as it slowly fades away into oblivion. I knew this to be true when Kodak sold off their sensor division. They showed that they had ZERO interest in any future in imaging. Selling off core products, selling off patents, winding down businesses and laying off workers. Kodak's managers have ZERO plan for a future. None at all. They are just extracting every last dollar out of the company before it collapses in a heap.
     
  18. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

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    So how does this make you feel then? Sad, mad, happy, indifferent, empowered? Because these are strong statements, ones that I hope take into account that the vast majority of people behind the products most on here care about, film, are just as passionate about it as most are...and like many of us, they hope to continue offering the products.

    Kodak is more than just the top rungs of the ladder, I know the future looks uncertain to bleak and the notion of hosing employee benefits by giving out fat bonuses to execs is at the very least baffling and more like infuriating, but....

    It just seems like one of the most popular things on this forum to do lately is not put forward great imagery using modern Kodak film, but instead use a red hot branding iron on every possible piece of hide that might be showing...I mean really, look how many posts these lousy threads get, this place is becoming the film only version of dpreview.

    It's really sickening man, seriously...

    I think we are all going to be pretty disgusted if this whole bonus thing happens, but....page after page of this bashing and speculation stuff is just no good for anyone...
     
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  19. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Offered up with a little less humor and a little more truth than some here may be comfortable admitting...

    1. Denial"Photography feels fine."; "This can't be happening, not to Kodak."

    Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the film photographer. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of analog cameras and equipment that will be left behind after Kodak's death. Denial can be a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or the reality of the situation. Denial is a defense mechanism and some film photographers can become locked in this stage.

    2. Anger"Why Kodak? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to Kodak?"; '"Who is to blame?"

    Once in the second stage, the film photographer recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the film photographer may be very difficult to speak with due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Anger can manifest itself in different ways. Film photographers can be angry with themselves, or with others, and especially those who are close to them. It is important to remain detached and nonjudgmental when dealing with a film photographer experiencing anger from grief.

    3. Bargaining"I'll do anything for a few more rolls."; "I will give my life savings if Kodak makes just one more run of Kodachrome."

    The third stage involves the hope that the film photographer can somehow postpone or delay the death of Kodak. Usually, the negotiation for an extended film product life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed non-digital shooting lifestyle. Psychologically, the film photographer is saying, "I understand Kodak will die, but if I could just do something to buy more Kodachrome..." Photographers facing fewer losses of their favorite films can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example "Can we still be customers if we just keep purchasing..?" when facing Kodak's bankrupcy. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it's a matter of the life or death of a film company.

    4. Depression"I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "Kodak's going to die soon so what's the point?"; "My work is done. Why wait?"

    During the fourth stage, the film photographer begins to understand the certainty of Kodak's death. Because of this, the film photographer may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the film photographer to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up a film photographer who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed. Depression could be referred to as the dress rehearsal for the 'aftermath'. It is a kind of acceptance with emotional attachment. It's natural to feel sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty when going through this stage. Feeling those emotions shows that the film photographer has begun to accept the situation.

    5. Acceptance"It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it. Where's Ilford's number?"

    In this last stage, film photographers begin to come to terms with Kodak's mortality. This stage varies according to the film photographer's garage freezer situation. Film photographers can enter this stage a long time before the films Kodak has left behind, who's employees must also then pass through their own individual stages of dealing with the grief.

    Most people here seem to be somewhere between the second and third levels, slowly moving higher. A significant number, however, have already reached level five.

    Ken

    N.B. With generous apologies to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Wikipedia...
     
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  20. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Oh good grief. It's precisely because we like Kodak products and would like them to continue that we are infuriated by the way Kodak management, not the rank and file, have handled the company. I don't think anyone is in denial (or whatever stage of a death and dying sort of process) that Kodak is in dire straights, but neither do I think ANYONE can know for sure that Kodak film and related products will not survive. We just don't know. The prognosis is serious but no one knows or can know at this stage if it is truly terminal. Look at the rabbit Ilford pulled out of their hat.

    There's nothing surprising here and I really don't remotely understand PKM-25's point, or points, or whatever he's getting at. We're bashing upper management, not rank and file, and as far as I can see they deserve all the bashing we're dishing out and then some.

    And finally, most of us don't link the future of film photography in general to the survival of Kodak. I'd frankly be a lot more worried if Ilford were on the ropes. Color, yes - Fuji doesn't really seem committed to film anymore though at least they seem like they will survive as a company so as long as there's a demand they can make film, but might not see it as sufficiently profitable at the scale they are equipped to manufacture it. Color is in danger but far from facing certain demise in the immediate future. Black and white looks pretty healthy to me. Even without Ilford - I'd hate to shoot only Foma and Efke film but if that's all there was, I would rather than give up film photography. I wouldn't want to face a world without Ilford in my darkroom, but I could do that much easier than face a world without their film or Kodak's.
     
  21. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Just so nobody mistakes a little late night attempt to lighten things up as something more sinister, I forgot these two carefully selected guys...

    :wink::tongue:

    (Page down at the Wikpedia link.)

    Ken
     
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  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i don't think that was their goal.

    i think their goal was and always has been to be an imaging company
    but they started a late with consumer printing. they tried to keep selling film and paper
    as long as they could, until it wasn't profitable ... and when things didn't show
    a profit they prune the tree ( as they always have ) ... no use selling things at a loss\

    they really didn't fail the analog photography sector, seeing they continued to improve and develop new
    films and emulsions and FINALLY have spun off that part of their company to hopefully continue doing just that.
    the problem is that it is hard to cook for 3 when you are used to cooking for 3 million.

    they are doing everything they can to stay alive ... and it is reallyeasy for someone
    who just reads newspaper articles, magazine articles and web fora to know better than
    the people actually making the decisions.

    unfortunately the business culture in america is the way it is, where people at the top
    get compensated huge amounts and often times at the expense of the people doing the work ..
    but that is the way it is ...

    i wish i could afford to keep buying kodak films, but unfortunately they are priced beyond my means.
    i have been shooting tmx/tmy since they were first sold and they are great films .. but $2/sheet of 4x5
    is more than i can afford.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The goal of management at EK is obscure to say the least.

    However, no on here has addressed the fact that there are several retirement plans out there and only 1 or 2 out of this group are in danger of vanishing. Mine is in virtually no danger. I would lose about 1% of it if they took away that part.

    The same is true of our medical benefits. There are several plans. They are roughly divided into 2 or 3 (or more) depending on age and are linked to Medicare. So there are double sets for those under 65 and those over.

    And on it goes.

    Some people will lose everything and some nothing or virtually nothing of their pension, and the same is true of health care.

    Those at one end, are more outspoken about many of these issues than are those at the other end.

    But, in the final analysis, I think that most of us side with those who are astounded that management would try to gain such a huge benefit from Kodak in its current condition.

    PE
     
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  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Would anyone here disagree with the bonuses if they were only payable if all the creditors (including pensioners and current employees) received payment in full?
     
  25. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Except that those newspaper articles, magazine articles, and web fora were in many cases created from one-on-one interviews or policy guidance statements given directly by the people actually making the decisions. Didn't have to read between the lines or speculate at all. They told us exactly where they were going to take the company. And they did just that. No surprises there.

    And as far as I know, those same people are still in charge—and still committed to the same vision and direction for the company that resulted in the bankruptcy filing in the first place. Now they just want additional compensation to keep them from jumping ship. It's as if the captain and officers of the Titanic had retreated to the stern of the ship, loudly threatening to quit if they didn't get an immediate raise. Go figure...

    Ken
     
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  26. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Yes, because ultimately that's not what those who would receive those bonuses were hired to do. They were hired to successfully oversee and manage the company through its transition into the digital marketplace. Agreeing with the above would be tantamount to conveniently (for them) redefining the finish line after the race had started.

    Ken