Editorial Issue 158: Half Greek tragedy, half farce, and all half-arsed

The slow, inexorable  demise of Kodak is half Greek tragedy, half farce. The efforts of EK senior management tragically half-arsed.

I know I’ve displayed a bit of attitude at times in reporting on the slow, whimpering decline of this once great company, and that’s because people who have worked for Kodak have a lingering and apparently life-long affection for the organisation, and pride in being part of a once formidable and talented team. (Really!? anyone who has only known the 21st century version of Kodak will be thinking.)

There are still some fine people at Kodak (and some excellent distributors!) who must cringe at the very idea of having the current lot of Eastman Kodak jokers running the show.   

Perhaps the most galling element in this sorry saga is that CEO Perez and his cohorts are likely to be judged leniently by history. The once-over-lighlty pundits will glibly claim it’s the fault of digital technology. I maintain it’s mostly the fault of a management team cursed with overweaning arrogance, a profound ignorance about Kodak and its customers, and a generous dollop of plain stupidity.

The rot set in with ex-Motorola wunderkind George Fisher during the ’90s; ‘Let’s invest $3 billion in China and flog them and the Indians our analog technology while everyone else is going digital.’ Since then no one of any talent or vision has come anywhere near helm.

– Keith Shipton


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