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Orbitz Chairman Jeff Clarke Replaces Antonio Perez as Kodak CEO

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Board of Directors of Eastman Kodak Company has elected Jeffrey J. Clarke as Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors.

“Jeff is the right person to lead Kodak forward. His combination of strengths and experience in technology, transformation, finance, operations, and international business is precisely what we set out to find in the next leader of Kodak. His past leadership positions have included businesses selling hardware, software and services, and printing – with B2B customers as well as consumers. The Board evaluated many highly qualified and talented people during the search, but it was clear to all of us that Jeff was the one we wanted. We feel extremely confident about Kodak’s prospects with Jeff at the helm,” said James V. Continenza, chairman of the board. “I thank Antonio Perez for his excellent leadership of Kodak through its complex and successful restructuring, and for solidifying our relationships with our valued customers since that time.”

Clarke, 52, said, “I have enormous respect for the people of Kodak, and I am excited to join them in moving the company forward to new successes. This enterprise has some extraordinary opportunities, especially those presented by the company’s proprietary technology in commercial printing, packaging and functional printing. Kodak has made excellent progress, building on one of the most successful reorganizations in recent years, and I look forward to continuing the work underway in transforming Kodak into a global B2B technology leader.

“My first priority is to spend my time listening to Kodak’s employees, customers, partners and other stakeholders as part of a detailed evaluation of our operations, market opportunities and approach for success,” continued Clarke. “Once that work is complete, I look forward to sharing our conclusions.”

Antonio M. Perez, now Special Advisor to the Board, said, “Jeff Clarke is a talented and proven executive who is well qualified to lead Kodak through our next era, which I believe will be one of innovation and growth. I am excited about the next chapter in the future of this great company.”

Prior to joining Kodak, Clarke was a Managing Partner of Augusta Columbia Capital (ACC), a private investment firm focused on middle market technology and technology-enabled businesses that he co-founded in 2012. Prior to ACC, Clarke was the Chairman of Travelport, Inc., a private travel technology firm, where he served as CEO from 2006-2011, after leading its sale from Cendant Corporation to the Blackstone Group for $4.3 billion in 2006. During his tenure, Travelport successfully launched an IPO for its Orbitz business.

Clarke was the Chief Operating Officer of CA, Inc., an enterprise software company, from 2004-2006, where he was responsible for sales, services, distribution, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, information technology, corporate strategy and planning.

Clarke was an Executive Vice President at Hewlett-Packard Company from 2002-2003. As EVP of Global Operations, he was responsible for HP's worldwide supply chain, manufacturing, procurement and internet operations (HP.com). He also co-led HP's merger integration with Compaq Computer. Prior to HP, Clarke was the Chief Financial Officer of Compaq Computer, which he joined in 1998 following the merger of Compaq with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). At DEC from 1985-1998, he served in management roles in international operations, finance and manufacturing.

Clarke will continue to serve as Chairman of Orbitz Worldwide, a global online travel agency since 2007. He will also continue to serve on the boards of directors of Red Hat, Inc., an enterprise software company, and Compuware Corporation, an enterprise software company.

Clarke earned an MBA from Northeastern University, where he serves as a Trustee. He holds a B.A. in Economics from SUNY Geneseo. He grew up in Hamilton, N.Y.

Egon Zehnder assisted Kodak with the CEO search process.

 

Discussion

By Robert Donnelly on Mar 12, 2014


Does this guy know what he is doing? What is there left to manage at Kodak?

 

By Paul Gardner on Mar 12, 2014

"So, you're telling me there's a chance... Yeah!"

This is the best news I've seen about Kodak in nearly a decade. The 8,500 surviving employees and their families must be greatly relieved.

Kodak is dead! Long live Kodak!

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 14, 2014

See a very good summary here:
http://www.rbj.net/article.asp?aID=190312

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 14, 2014

How is it possible for Kodak to pay millions to somebody who will just now travel and learn about Kodak?

See more here:
http://www.printweek.com/print-week/news/1142721/ceo-takes-helm-kodak

 

By Paul Gardner on Mar 14, 2014

Stan, would you prefer a CEO to sit in his office and dictate directions to the minions?

Here's what Clarke shared of his plan:

Clarke said he would be embarking upon a worldwide tour over the coming months to evaluate Kodak’s current setup.
“I plan to travel and meet many of you during a detailed evaluations of our operations, our manufacturing, our marketing and our sales,” he stated.
“We’ll make our decisions based on data and what we learn from our customers.”


ps - The summary you posted is over two years old.

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 15, 2014

"The summary you posted is over two years old."

Exactly, Paul.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Mar 17, 2014

To demonstrate his commitment to turning Kodak around, Clarke should take a $1 a year salary until goals are met. Just as how other CEOs have done with other companies that were on the ropes (e.g. Lee Iacocca, Steve Jobs) Then, once he has achieved success he can take his millions.
Physical travel is a waste of time, money, and energy. Set up video conference calls and virtual town hall meetings to get input instead.
Set up video conference calls through the GUA to get customer input.
Visit a few local to Rochester and San Francisco (where he'll be living) customers if he wants to see equipment being used.
Take a few weeks to do that then publish a mission statement for the business. Then execute.

 

By Erik Nikkanen on Mar 17, 2014

My gosh, give the guy a chance. Personally I don't think much can replace face to face discussions. He also shouldn't have to take a pay cut. He wasn't responsible for the mess.

Give him a year to see what he can do and then let's talk.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Mar 17, 2014

He can be face to face locally to have discussions - no need to flit around in the corporate jet. The big issues facing Kodak are not localized. And it's not a question of taking a pay cut. It's a question of tying reward to accomplishment. If that's not done then, like Perez, he is rewarded whether his performance benefits Kodak or not. IMHO, a year is a very long time in Kodak's business.

 

By Erik Nikkanen on Mar 18, 2014

Interesting, you bring a new standard to the world of compensation. Maybe you have something there. More like tennis or golf where one only gets paid if one wins. Maybe teams in hockey and football should do the same and only the team that wins gets paid.

Of course the problem with that is that not many people will play in those sports. Same with obtaining top managers. They are paid to participate and not to win. Winning is not something that can be guaranteed.

If one could impose your solution on Kodak, they would not be able to get anyone to lead them and that would be worse.

Also a year is not a long time to make smart changes. Making too many changes quickly that are not thought out well enough can also lead to a mess. OK, you want to see something positive happen sooner, but I am maybe more practical and think it will take a lot longer.

 

By Gordon Pritchard on Mar 18, 2014

I didn't say he shouldn't get paid - I said he should get $1 ( a US dollar no less) and further compensation based on performance.

Seriously...

He will remain chairman of the board at travel site Orbitz - which I'm sure will be providing him with a salary so he won't starve. He'll also remain living in San Francisco. So, aside from his time spent working for Orbitz if he flies from his home in San Francisco to Rochester once a week - that's at least 8 hours each way - that's effectively 2 days he'll be in the clouds making $1 million a year - the same as Perez who remains as company consultant for two years. Plus Clarke also received $3 million in restricted stock and $1 million in stock options. And he is eligible for bonuses under the company's Executive Compensation for Excellence and Leadership Plan.
If he does nothing at all it appears that he'll do very well financially at Kodak.

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 19, 2014

What happened with hiring CEOs who know already what needs to be done? Would you hire a printer who would fly on your slim budget to visit locations pictured in your calendar you want him to print? If your company just came out of very difficult times would you invest millions into one possible star or would you make sure your existing team has enough money for what they want o do? Just like everything else: CEOs should share with shareholders and employees their own plan with clearly stated ROI. If they do not have one and if ROI makes no sense than this company may decide to hire them as Gordon proposed. Why not?

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 19, 2014

What happened with hiring CEOs who know already what needs to be done? Would you hire a printer who would fly on your slim budget to visit locations pictured in your calendar you want him to print? If your company just came out of very difficult times would you invest millions into one possible star or would you make sure your existing team has enough money for what they want to do? Just like everything else: CEOs should share with shareholders and employees their own plan with clearly stated ROI. If they do not have one and if ROI makes no sense than this company may decide to hire them as Gordon proposed. Why not?

 

By Robert Donnelly on Mar 21, 2014

How can all these executives continue to take $ Millions out of a company that no longer has relevance? I thought that even the stock has been delisted because it is worthless? Kodak is another example of a great brand that was destroyed by mismanagement.

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 22, 2014

Paul,it would help us if you would share with us why you think that "the 8,500 surviving employees and their families must be greatly relieved".

 

By Charles Gehman on Mar 22, 2014

He has as good a chance as anybody to turn this thing around. He should move the company to San Francisco, frankly, and hire some of his friends from tech to run the company.

Unfortunately, it is possible that knowing less about the printing industry might actually help the company.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/at-work/innovation/who-determines-the-value-of-patents

 

By Stan Najmr on Mar 22, 2014

Kodak used to have excellent products in the medical field. Those products are still being used there but they are sold under a different brand name.

 

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