Ed, I too bear the responsibility for the veer off target of the thread.
Here then are my takes on your post..
The new coating facility was built in the 90s in response to the huge demand for film world-wide. It was completed well before I left EK in '97. It was overkill for the resultant decline in about 2005. It is now running well under capacity.
Think of this. Kodak had about 9 coating facilities WW, and some of them had multiple coating machines. Paper Mfg for example, had 6 machines in one building at Kodak Park. They all ran 24/7/365. Today, they have one machine that runs part time! That is because it has too much capacity. But, it is used for quality purposes. It produces the best quality.
The Research Labs themselves had about 9 coating machines and half of those could do slide coatings and 2 of them curtain coatings. One coated at 11" and could do production. The plant had 2 machines that did narrow width pilot coatings.
I could go on, but today they have none of these.
As for promoting from within, there is something to be said both pro and con about this. Pro is that the person knows the company and the business as well as the science behind it. The con is that the person may be too Kodak centric and narrow. We have seen both at EK, but Perez knew nothing about EK and nothing about film. He was blind to both the culture and the methodology, and even the potential market which we all know is there.
Today, Perez is using the film profits for funding digital when he could divert some funds to advertizing and sales and distribution of film which would increase profits to split with digital. But, the reorganization recently announce has one possible side effect. Combining some film and digital divisions allows easier transfer of film profits to digital needs!
In any event, did hiring from outside help? No. Did promoting from within help? Only sometimes. Political decisions sent Kodak off on a tangent back in the 80s that they never recovered from. For example, when Eilers became CEO, Gable retired along with some of the best people. Gable, IMHO, was the better choice. When Carp won out over Kohrt, it was similar. IMHO Kohrt would have been the better choice. Many agree with me and many disagree so you see the politics that were involved even in the opinions of the lower ranks.
Fischer looked outside the box. That can be said for him. But, like Perez, he knew nothing about film and from what I have heard, he could be dictatorial in his decisions, right or wrong.