There's been a lot of mocking and vilifying of Kodak's CEO Perez (and rightly so IMO). Yet now that it appears that Kodak is soon to exit bankruptcy and will secure over half a billion in new funding, would it be wrong to say that he has been a success?
For some reason, I never expected Kodak to survive bankruptcy. Everyone slammed all of Perez's moves painting him as an incompetent idiot. When and if Kodak exits bankruptcy, issues new stock (as planned) and completes its transformation from a film company into a commercial box printing company, perhaps we need to reassess him.
Seems very odd......
Do you honestly believe this guy actually carried them through the entire reorganization and emergence process? Additionally, "commercial box printing" company??
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Perez was originally tasked with negotiating Kodak's transformation from an old-technology imaging company to a new-technology imaging company, thus preserving and eventually enhancing ongoing shareholder value. The hope by us was that Kodak film would, at some reduced but still sustainable level, survive that transformation.
Presiding over—and in way too many cases, aggravating—Kodak's death spiral into an ugly bankrupcy, thus wiping out all shareholder value entirely, was never the preferred, nor anticipated, outcome for Kodak's investors. Or employees. Or retirees. Or anyone else with a vested interest in the final outcome, including us.
Painting the pig's lips bright red wasn't how it was supposed to end. And calling Perez successful because he's the one who's now holding the brush is a bit disingenuous...
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
But hasnt Kodak film survived? The film unit has a new owner who WANTS to film to be successful. What more could we want?
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
Make no mistake, I am no fan at all of Perez.
Losing billions of dollars, losing market share, & leaving the fate of the company in the hands of a third party (court) is the opposite of successful leadership. He should walk the plank in IMHO.
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I beg you all to read about how IBM reorganized, and compare/contrast....
How IBM's Sam Palmisano Redefined the Global Corporation
If the above has you intrigued re transformation, check out this, it might just be the best $7 you've ever spent when trying to rationalize the transformation of a company from one competency to another.
IBM's Decade of Transformation: Turnaround to Growth
by Lynda M. Applegate, Elizabeth Collins
Source: Harvard Business School
31 pages. Publication Date: Apr 05, 2005. Prod. #: 805130-PDF-ENG
Describes IBM's decade of transformation. Provides background on the company's history and the factors that led to its near death in the early 1990s and to its remarkable turnaround during Lou Gerstner's reign as CEO.
I expect the truth lies in the middle somewhere. I doubt Perez is a complete idiot, and to be fair he was placed an extremely difficult position to begin with. Also, I'm sure he made some mistakes, did not understand some of issues as well as he should have done, and wished he could have done things differently. Just as we all do at some point.
Emergence from bankruptcy protection does not always have much to do with management. Court appointed monitors etc. are involved.
"out with the old, in with the new"
I vote to replace Perez with Mustafa.