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  1. #71
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb3lms View Post
    Sorry if I came off a bit harsh above. This film division selling thing has touched a nerve with me. (Read that posting again about the cathartic thing!) Kodak is being thrown around here in 20/20 hindsight as a big, bumbling, corporate, conglomerate of dolts that had no idea what they were doing and that just isn't always the case. There were/are serious issues at 343 State Street and that is a fact. But there were many, many people outside of KO that poured their heart and soul into making things go right at EK. Most of those people are gone now, either just from EK or in many cases from this Earth, and that should be remembered as well.

    Signing off, now.
    The problem is that we as film photographers think of Kodak as the film coating division, where as it's the Kodak company as a whole that is in trouble and it's the senior management that let everyone down, customers, shareholders and employees.

    There have been hard hitting exposes of the Kodak management's failings by various highly reputable journalists and economists, in any country other than the US the directors would be under serious investigation but instead they draw even more bonuses for driving the company into the ground. That last part just about says it all.

    Ian

  2. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    ...I can cite about a dozen such projects which as an aggregate run up a tab of several hundred million...

    ...The point is that EK, like many other companies, had a lot of internal and unknown things going on. Some were good and some fell flat!

    PE
    Right on!

    I can say from my observations as a consultant who has worked deep inside over 30 major US corporations that MOST managerial decisions are not made in the best interest of the company, but for a myriad of personal/egotistical reasons.

    The worst driver is supposed "cost savings". Seldom properly measured or proven. Just put the number you need it to be on a spreadsheet or power point presentation.

    Most management gets rewarded for things other than the best interest of the company.

    Promotions, bonuses, assignments, prime office space... it goes to the BS'ers and self-promoters who never, ever consider the benefit of the company in their decisions.
    - Bill Lynch

  3. #73
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    Most management gets rewarded for things other than the best interest of the company.

    Promotions, bonuses, assignments, prime office space... it goes to the BS'ers and self-promoters who never, ever consider the benefit of the company in their decisions.
    I agree with this. Basically poor management from the top down. Incentives in publicly traded companies are geared toward short-term stock performance. Kodak had a lot going for it: a lot of cash, a great name, smart people. Yes, their core business was eroding but they had plenty of time (15-20 years?) to adapt. Instead they risked it all on digital printing, an industry already loaded with stiff competition. That has to be one of the dumbest ideas ever. It will be probably be talked about in MBA seminars for the next century!

  4. #74
    SilverGlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
    I agree with this. Basically poor management from the top down. Incentives in publicly traded companies are geared toward short-term stock performance. Kodak had a lot going for it: a lot of cash, a great name, smart people. Yes, their core business was eroding but they had plenty of time (15-20 years?) to adapt. Instead they risked it all on digital printing, an industry already loaded with stiff competition. That has to be one of the dumbest ideas ever. It will be probably be talked about in MBA seminars for the next century!
    Yup, 15-20 years to adapt. And riddle me this: How did they go from inventing the digital camera, and feeding Canon and Nikon high-end state of the art full frame sensors to where they're at today? Surely one does not have to be an alumni or insider to come up with reasons. Is there any other short answer then this: Upper and perhapd middle management were fat rich idiots?!? I've consulted too, with 100+ companies and the one common denominator I often see is that corporate America is no longer a Meritocracy...it's long past the days when it mattered what skills you have and your productivity rate. Not enough Steve Jobs....too many liberal-socialist types that do too many group-think decisions.
    Coming back home to my film roots. Canon EOS-3 SLR, Canon EOS 1V SLR, 580ex flash, and 5D DSLR shooter. Prime lens only shooter.

  5. #75

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    I had lunch with an old Kodak K Pro marketing type friend today and one of the points we discussed was that Kodak had too many 'order takers' and very few real marketing people.

  6. #76

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    Silverglow - I deal a lot with mfg corps and I certainly don't know any that are run by what you describe as liberal-socialist think tanks. Quite the opposite. The trend nowadays is utter CEO totalitarianism. Then that guy stacks the office with MBA's who know even less than he does about
    the business, just to make himself look good. Ever watch, "Rodney Dangerfield goes back to School?"
    Just like that. 75 and hundred year old mfg concerns which has weathered just about every storm
    imaginable don't seem to last more than 6 months to a couple years with a jerk at the helm.

  7. #77
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    In 2004 Kodak sold its Civilian and Government Systems to ITT to fund the home printer market expansion. C&GS earned over 3% of the net profit with less than 0.01% of the employees. With logic like that the writing was on the wall.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #78

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    Yeah, and it would be ironic if Kodak sells off their consumer film division just to see someone else make a real profit at it, simply because it becomes their primary business rather than just another cog in the wheel unsuccessfully trying to flatter the stock market.

  9. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Yeah, and it would be ironic if Kodak sells off their consumer film division just to see someone else make a real profit at it, simply because it becomes their primary business rather than just another cog in the wheel unsuccessfully trying to flatter the stock market.
    I have personally experienced a company shut down an entire division rather than accept a generous outside offer on the assumption that the buyer might make it successful and "embarrass" the sellers.
    - Bill Lynch

  10. #80
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I've found that EK middle management and VPs to be reasonable normal people. I've found the top 3 or 4 people 9with one or two exceptions) to be brusque and somewhat dictatorial people. They had an aristocratic mien.

    PE

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