We have veered a little off topic here and I bear some of the responsibility. But it is hard to talk about business (at least in the US) without veering into politics, regardless of your personal philosophy. The two are deeply intertwined.

That said, back to the subject at hand.

It's very hard to know what is going on inside Kodak if you're not there (and in the upper echelon...) To their credit, they DID modernize (and rationalize) their film manufacturing back in 2007, or so. They built a brand new coating facility which is, no doubt, the most advanced in the world. But did they miscalculate and make it too big? If they'd made it a bit smaller, could they have avoided some of the discontinuances? Did they pull the plug on some products too quickly? It's hard to say because we don't have all of the data.

One of the problems with extremely large enterprises (like Kodak WAS 5-10 years ago...) is that their scale demands they only compete in markets that have HUGE gross earnings and make HUGE profits. In some other posts I've mentioned P&G. Over the past 5-10 years, they too have shrunk. They've sold off all or most of their manufacturing and they've sold or discontinued any brand that didn't bring in one billion dollars a year (thousand million, for those outside the US). Since the downturn in 2007, they've now found that people are cutting back -- instead of buying the "top priced" brands, they are buying less expensive ones, which P&G no longer competes against.

One thing I will say about P&G is that they promote from within. They hire right out of college and immerse you in the culture. Every CEO they've ever had started out at the bottom. I don't know if Kodak used to do that or not, but they don't anymore and maybe that's part of their problem. Perez knew NOTHING about the photography business -- what he knew was selling printers. So is it any wonder that Kodak has now decided it wants to be "a printer company?" How they expect to compete with Perez's former employer, HP, or with Epson or Canon or any of the other companies that make very good printers is beyond me. But I don't think we should be shocked or surprised that he doesn't want to sell film anymore.

Ed