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New Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke Briefs Trade Media

Three weeks into his new job as Kodak’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors, Jeffrey L. Clarke conducted a briefing with the printing trade media. WhatTheyThink’s Senior Editor Cary Sherburne was on the line and shares some of the thoughts and insights from the call.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: April 10, 2014

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Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.

 

Discussion

By Robert Donnelly on Apr 10, 2014

Sounds like familiar "corporate speak" pronouncements we have heard from many new CEOs attempting turn-arounds before. Rebuilding a brand is a long and expensive process tainted by the legacy of the past for any brand that has slid down the slippery slope to irrelevance like Kodak has. It might make more sense to develop a new brand name and bury the Kodak brand that has "failure" etched in the minds of consumers. After all, Marketing is the battle for the customers mind and Kodak has an ingrained negative image.

 

By Tim Daisy on Apr 10, 2014

Great article, Cary. Clarke's characterization of Kodak as a startup with industry and brand recognition is a unique combination. I believe our industry continues to believe and invest in those companies that drive their efficiencies and profitability despite past performance. I suspect Kodak has that following with it's Prosper press line and Prinergy software. Can Clarke effect a culture within Kodak that needs to be responsive and innovative over and over? Time will tell. There certainly is room for Kodak, but the void of their failures could certainly be filled by other companies. Good luck!

 

By Henry Freedman on Apr 10, 2014

Kodak has bet the farm on Prosper and now
needs to sell presses. Kodak needs to be run
by someone from the industry to truly turn it.
For many years Kodak has had its share of
other industries transfers from the likes of Motorola etc.. With the selling off of all EXCEPT graphic arts, movie film and new specialty work Kodak badly needs to be lead by someone with a vision of the likes of Efi Arazi or other CEO who has delivered in our industry. Kodak's science is way out of balance with its management and sales and the science of what is Kodak has taken the hit.
Kodak's navigation system needs a management control logic that can deliver at plant floor
amongst heavy and growing stronger competition.
It is baseball season now and the Kodak has a new manager. Wishing Jeff Clarke and the Kodak team well as he enters the game.


 

By Don Burns on Apr 10, 2014

Robert D, perhaps you missed the changes as Kodak emerged from bankruptcy. We are a B2B technology company focused on imaging for business. Our branb history and legacy in this market is certainly far from irrelevant. Customers using Nexpress, Prinergy, Versamark, Prosper, Trendsetter and Sonora are very successful. Some have trusted these brands for over 40 years and continue to purchase Kodak products. A fresh start, with strong history and world class technology is far from "corporate speak". OK Jeff has only been on board for 3 weeks, but seems to me he gets it.

 

By Cary Sherburne on Apr 10, 2014

Tim Daisy, I think you ask the key question: Can Clarke effect a culture within Kodak that needs to be responsive and innovative over and over? Time will tell.

 

By Charles Gehman on Apr 10, 2014

Awesome article Cary!

What I don't really understand is: how, after such a tormented reorganization, can this company can still have product lines in decline? Wouldn't the Bankruptcy have been the time to shed all such baggage?

I wish them well, too. In some ways, the company is now the sum of its acquisitions Creo/Scitex and Nexpress-- minus many of the smartest people-- both of which it came close to sending to oblivion.

I think the strategy is good, but execution will be very tough. This industry is a highly competitive slugfest. That's one of the things we all enjoy about it.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Apr 16, 2014

What I don't see in the article is a vision for Kodak - something that employees can get behind. Just more of the same reliance on the anticipated sales of a few products.

 

By Henry Freedman on Apr 16, 2014

Will Clarke continue to sell parts off
or sell remaining entity?

 

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