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Photo Engineer
05-04-2013, 07:35 PM
Are there any links that describe the earlier announcement? Whatever it said might be just as much history as the previously announced sale to Brother is. :D

Update: Might you be referring to this post by Fred?


http://www.apug.org/forums/viewpost.php?p=1390796

If so, it sounds like the same arrangement.

Sal, this is part of the entire problem. We do not know if there were 2 companies involved or just the one in the UK representing the pension plan.

That is all. And, I am reminding all that there might be 2 agreements.

PE

lxdude
05-04-2013, 07:46 PM
You dingbats! An exec never ran a coating machine nor made an emulsion! Get real!

PE

They never promoted through the ranks?

Sal Santamaura
05-04-2013, 07:49 PM
I suspect that, even if an earlier "agreement" announcement involved another company (which wasn't identified), the recent English KPP agreement is the only one progressing. Similar to Brother's announced "purchase" of the DI business failing to be consummated. It would be good if Colleen could confirm this. :)

Ken Nadvornick
05-04-2013, 07:52 PM
All I can say is that someone needs to hide the dynamite from the madmen...

:sideways:

Ken

Pioneer
05-04-2013, 08:38 PM
These threads are so much fun to read. Not very informative, but a thousand laughs! :laugh:

Photo Engineer
05-04-2013, 10:24 PM
They never promoted through the ranks?

Was Perez?

Prof_Pixel
05-04-2013, 11:23 PM
Ron,

Remember the days when Kodak used to talk about a dual ladder; one in management and one in technology? That didn't last long, did it? Few scientists/engineers made it to the highest levels at Kodak.

Fred

Photo Engineer
05-04-2013, 11:36 PM
I know. My post was a response with that in mine.

Best wishes Fred.

PE

lxdude
05-05-2013, 02:26 AM
Was Perez?

You said "execs", which had me thinking more of department heads up to vice presidents and such, than of CEO's. Mine was a sincere question, as I figured that Kodak would have developed managerial talent where they saw it, as many companies did. I figured in a company as old and established as Kodak, there would have been a fair number of management types who knew the business from the bottom up.

Wow.

lxdude
05-05-2013, 02:32 AM
Few scientists/engineers made it to the highest levels at Kodak.


And I guess it shows. :(

Photo Engineer
05-05-2013, 11:15 AM
You said "execs", which had me thinking more of department heads up to vice presidents and such, than of CEO's. Mine was a sincere question, as I figured that Kodak would have developed managerial talent where they saw it, as many companies did. I figured in a company as old and established as Kodak, there would have been a fair number of management types who knew the business from the bottom up.

Wow.

Before Fischer, there were a lot of promotions from within, but as Fred said, there were often few scientiists and engineers promoted outside of KRL. Most were bean counters. With Fischer, we saw an influx of outsiders that sped up with Perez.

And so, top people often were those who knew little about the actual work going on under their supervision and the number of those doing pure management all the way up the ladder increased. Many managers knew the photo industry well, but did not know the manufacture of their own products. Some few were the reverse.

Carl Kohrt, VP and manage of KRL became CTO but instead of making him President, they selected Dan Carp, COO who was the bean counter of the two. IMHO, Kohrt would have been a far better choice given the decisions and directions taken by Carp.

PE

kb3lms
05-05-2013, 08:24 PM
Yep, that's how I recall, too. About the time Whitmore went out and Fisher came in, there was this campaign that Kodak was too insulated, too much of a "not invented here" mentality. This was in a WSJ article as well. Chandler was an engineer of some sort and I think Fallon was as well. The WSJ people said that Kodak "needed some quirky marketing types" and they had to "teach the elephant how to dance." So they started with this idea of NOT promoting from within with the intent of bringing in fresh blood. They wanted to try and grow through acquisitions, too, rather than invention. Again, to bring in some fresh blood. While that was a good idea to start, like many corporate fads, it went too far. No managers came from within and likewise, to move upwards you had to at least go elsewhere than where you were, if not outside the company. Slowly they built up a management force that didn't understand the peculiarities of the business, first at the corporate level and then down into the division level. Add to the that the 3 year cycle of RIFs and soon the best and the brightest that had no particular attachment to Rochester went elsewhere.

http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/tag/eastman-kodak/

This link is a replay of a Fortune article from the time, just a little before my time at Kodak. Not the article I was looking for but, you can see where the pressure was starting for Kodak to conform to the world outside and dismiss with the "invented in Rochester" idea to try and impress Wall Street and chase after the analysts. So just a little historical background. Bringing in fresh blood is one thing, wholesale cleaning out the management ranks is another.

This is where I hope the UK folks will help out. as I said in my earlier post, I think outside the US there is more of an attitude of creating value, rather than just chasing the profit of the week. So although not everything might be understood about the structure of the business, I think all this KPP stuff is good news for the Kodak silver halide product lines.

Photo Engineer
05-06-2013, 12:01 AM
Fallon coined the phrase "making the elephant dance" in terms of Kodak. But as you point out it went back a few years over what I mentioned. I've met Fallon, Chandler, Fischer,Carp and Kohrt personally. In fact, Carl Kohrt and I shared an office way back when, and his family and ours were great friends for many years.

(Parenthetical notes - One of his sons water ballooned one of our daughters at a family picnic at our home. Geez, wkat a day! Then his exchange student spilled a sugary drink on our furniture on another visit. What memories and fun!!!!! :D - Love ya Carl!, wherever you are. -vita meta-vegamin!)

It was sad to me that they promoted bean counters over such a great person.

PE

lxdude
05-06-2013, 12:32 AM
It seems that they forget that what bean counters do is count beans that someone else created.

pbromaghin
05-06-2013, 12:52 PM
It seems that they forget that what bean counters do is count beans that someone else created.

++!

wblynch
05-06-2013, 01:33 PM
It seems that they forget that what bean counters do is count beans that someone else created.

Yes, and they treat everything as if it were only a bean.

DREW WILEY
05-06-2013, 02:21 PM
The genuis of the bean-counter profession is that it steadily improves : the longer any bean counter is in charge, the less beans he needs to count!

Bob Carnie
05-06-2013, 03:12 PM
LOL good one

The genuis of the bean-counter profession is that it steadily improves : the longer any bean counter is in charge, the less beans he needs to count!

John Shriver
05-10-2013, 05:31 PM
I'm sure Kodak has had to make the business terms with the UK Pension Fund pretty sweet, else the UK pension regulators will veto it. Kodak owes so much to the pension fund ($2.9 billion) that they probably have to do some deal of this sort or liquidate. The pension fund woudn't get the $2.9 billion in a liquidation, and the UK pension insurance fund would be left holding the basket, and it would leave that insurance fund broke. The pension fund is clearly a rather "senior" claimant on Kodak's assets, presumably due to UK laws.

So the sales of still picture film to the new UK pension fund company may well be very close to marginal cost, rather than average cost. That'd good for the cost structure of the still picture film company.

Nobody will ever replace Building 38 somewhere else, there's no way to get a positive return on investment on a new film coating plant.

Kodak doesn't want to sell Building 38 because something like 75 to 90% of it's sales are through Eastman to the movie industry. Their volume is falling due to digital projection (much less demand for print film), but they still want camera negative film, and they desperately want archive film, since they know that they can't store all their movie bits in digital form forever.

As for Ilford's receivership experience, it was primarily due to union contracts with a no-layoff provision. Going through receivership ended those terms. They are now right-sized from a manpower point of view.

Kodak doesn't have that problem, having always been a non-union company. But they were a non-union company by paying high salaries and having generous benefits, including "defined benefit" pension plans. Defined benefit pension plans are almost non-existent in the US outside local governments and (maybe) some of the auto industry. The ERISA regulations to make them safely funded made them so expensive that they caused them to be eliminated by the companies.

Having the new Kodak still film business based in Europe might lead to the limited re-release of E-6 films, since they are where the remaining market is, particularly in Germany.

But the new film business needs a new distribution strategy, the old one was based on having flim available everywhere, now they need to focus on efficient high-volume retailers. (Having more retail sales outlets than their competitors was how Kodak got to be a monopoly in the 1900 to 1960 era. Wholesale prices of film were fixed for all customers, meaning that every souvenir shop could carry Kodak film and not worry about being under-cut.)

AgX
06-29-2013, 11:57 AM
Dolores Kruchten from Kodak Document Imaging on the sale to KPP:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoGV4kL6vnY

Now it's time for the still film branch to utter their ideas...