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.
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.