EXCLUSIVE: Dave Marshall departs Fujifilm!

It appears that Dave Marshall will be leaving his long tenure as Fujifilm chief operating officer in early October, according to a staff circular from Fujifilm Australia CEO Tyler Yanase.

It needs to be noted that PhotoCounter has not had direct confirmation of Dave Marshall’s departure from Fujifilm. Calls to Mr Yanase have gone unanswered. However, the copy of the email we have been forwarded has every appearance of being genuine, and was via a reliable source.  

Given Dave Marshall’s 18-year tenure at Fujifilm, and his prominence as a senior photo industry executive, the staff memo is unusually short and blunt: ‘The purpose of this email is to advise all staff members that Dave Marshall will no longer be with the business effective early October, 2017.’

It goes on to say that he is currently on leave and ‘he will not be in the office or dealing directly with our customers’ and instructs staff who ‘feel they need input from Dave’ to contact either himself or another senior executive ‘and we will make the necessary arrangements to assist you’.

The email neither thanks Dave Marshall for his contribution and leadership, nor wishes him well in his future endeavours. It doesn’t provide any reason for his departure and their is no reference to a resignation. 

Dave Marshall’s direct reports, Professional Imaging sales manager Mary Georgievski, marketing manager Dan Paul, and the Whitech subsidiary are to report to Nobahiko Koshimizu while Pierre Visser, Erica Moorehouse and Stephen Hodson report to Mr Yanase.

Dave Marshall has been with Fujifilm Australia in managing director/CEO/COO roles for over 18 years, having joined the photographic industry from Southcorp. 

UPDATE: We asked Fujifilm via its PR consultant, Deidre McAlinden, whether Fujifilm intended to make a formal announcement regarding Dave Marshall’s departure. She undertook to seek a response from Fujifim in mid-July. Apparently unsuccessfully. 

 

 

 

 


15 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Dave Marshall departs Fujifilm!

    • Not really – keeping editorial opinion in check was a challenge tho! I hope whomever comes in to replace ol’ Dave has a bit more empathy for Fujifilm’s long-suffering specialist customers. A decent range of CA papers like they have in the rest of the world would be a good start…maybe even talking to the channel at some stage…Let’s face it, there’s plenty of room for improvement!

  1. Personally I think it is a sad day for the industry. Dave was a visionary and futurist. He stuck his neck out and challenged our ideas. Yes for some industry wise men, Dave’s decisions weren’t always palpable. However folks, it is a case of “Scoreboard! ” as Fujifilm has really become the the last man standing in so many areas today. A lot of that can be attributed to him. I wish Dave all the very best and I am sure that he will be a fantastic asset to wherever he choose to move on to next. Well Dave good luck and thank you for your contribution to our industry. Paul Clayton digiDIRECT.

    • Paul your man Dave ditched the independents that had supported and made the brand since the early Hanimex days. In the US Fujifilm still strongly supports independents, they never stopped.

      Not much is left of the big guys these days either. Visionary I beg to differ, especially for the independent, apart from cramming the lab area with kiosks. I recall years ago when we were buying in Instax from Korea he refused to acknowledge the product, now that’s what they hang their hat on. Film, which is now a growth product, they are reducing the range to maybe be 20% of what our customers are buying from Japan.

      He lived the high life, cars motorbikes, 1st class international travel, the best hotels and restaurants. For many years he shared it with us on Facebook while many of us owners, like you, were struggling to make a buck. I think he overstayed his welcome by 10 years, no longer could he bluff the senior management!

  2. Agree Dave was a visionary and an influence on what many of us did in our business, his multi kiosk idea worked wonders in the day, we had 18 at one stage!

    Fujifilm decided to rid themselves of pesky retailers that only wanted to sell their film and good amounts of it too. We now sell heaps of Fuji made film, AgfaPhoto!!

  3. I will no doubt be shafted for what I am about to say! Firstly, this is the first time I have participated in this forum, and I hope the last! So if you reply do not expect an answer. This is a statement. For the record, I regard Dave Marshall as a friend. Over my lifetime, in what some refer to the photographic industry, I often observe the speciality retail sector having the belief that they have a Devine right to existence. That somehow they are owed!!! It’s a delusion. We are owed nothing! We earn our existence every day by the grace of our customers. If we are not relevant to them then we are not relevant! Period!

    Dave Marshall walked a line where he did his utmost to include the “old world” speciality industry with the “new world ” of the consumer deciding where they will shop. You do not have to look to far to see the results. To be blunt, who is left in the so called speciality photographic retail sector? The ones who are left would be successful if they were selling dog food because they are marketers and do not have a belief that they are “owed” a living.

    Dave Marshall was not a reactionary as most of us are. There was no “oh shit” moments for Dave when it came to market movements. He knew they were coming and positioned the company to take advantage of them. And why did he know! Well it was there in front of you all but most were in denial. Let’s face it, if you were told that the bulk of your capital investment was now worthless and that you had to take it to the tip and start again what would you do? Most would say “no way” and that’s what happened.

    So what is it I am trying to say? I have watched and read all the shit that has been put on Dave Marshall through this media channel and others over the years, but as the saying goes, ‘ be careful what you wish for”. These are ” the good old days”! Thank you Dave, from those who know you, that aspired to be part of the vision too. May your next chapter be a great adventure too!

    Rob Tolmie (Retired)

    • Hey Rob – where’s all this hostility coming from!? Pen a grumpy note to Fujifilm if you are upset by the fate of your friend. Attack Fujifilm management and not long-suffering independent retailers. And as far as equating the selling of dog food with photographic retailing, well I think at least some of my readership would find that a tad offensive. Woof woof!

    • Rob we have all thought of you as the visionary who sold the family “farm” in the 80’s at the right time to the right buyer. You got out of the industry, at least in terms of putting your own money on the line. Since then you have enjoyed spending others money, some successful some not.

      If it worked great, if it didn’t, well it wasn’t your problem. Dave was the same he still got well paid no matter what happened to his customers, “he reaped what he sowed”

  4. I believe Kodak and Fuji misread the marketplace. Fuji put a lot of effort in telling people to buy Frontiers as the print market was going to explode. What exploded was the bankrupt owners when the printing didn’t happen. Their answer was to lower print prices to below cost and take the value out of a printed photograph. Next stop was to open up labs in stores to compete with the struggling minilabs that were left.

    I like Dave as a person, but some of his and Kodaks’ decisions have destroyed the photographic print marketplace.

  5. John, I’m of your vintage too but I think the reasons the photo print market has contracted are far more complex than the actions of either Kodak, Fujifilm or even Agfa. Consumer tastes shifted to screen-based image sharing, with billions of images disappearing into cellphone and computer memories. This ‘free’ method of preserving memories placed greater price pressure on the printed product to the point where the market decided it did not want to pay more than ten cents per standard print. Secondly, home-based printing on excellent printers from the likes of Epson took more minilab work away. Thirdly, the photobook phenomenon shifted single prints mounted in albums to attractively designed all-in-one albums printed on Indigos and Xeroxes and this market continues to prosper, almost exclusively as an online service and therefore more in tune with customer expectations. Fourthly, professional grade photo print production has shifted almost entirely to digital inkjet on specialist art papers, canvases, metallics , glass, ceramics etc.
    If anything, Fujifilm has preserved commercial photo print making way beyond what was predicted to be its natural lifespan – and this was a purposeful decision back in the early 2000s to be ‘last man standing’ in silver halide imaging. It’s all in Chairman Shigetaka Komori’s book ‘Innovating out of Crisis’ – how Fujifilm innovated and prospered while Kodak and Agfa did not.

    • Hi Andy. Your hypothesis on how the hell we got here is hard to fault, except that for many years there was nowhere else in the world where you could get a cheaper Fujifilm print than Harvey Norman and Big W. There was absolutely no reason to offer prints at 10 cents and even 8 cents – price resistance wasn’t an issue in selling prints, digital cameras were. Fifteen or 20 cents would have allowed all players to compete and was about what other comparable markets were charging. The result was, as John notes, the trashing of the photographic print market. Dave Marshall notoriously predicted the virtual demise of the photo specialist channel back when PICA was a thing and he was head honcho. In the past decade Fujifilm’s close partnership with Harvey Norman and Big W (including operating their online photo services and website) at the expense of the photo specialist channel has made life more difficult for specialists than it otherwise would have been given all the other points you make. Fujifilm has far more empathy and support for photo specialists in the US, Canada and the UK. That is just an undeniable fact. Dave Marshall was no friend of the specialist photo retailer channel.

  6. Point taken Keith. Yes 8/9/10 cent prints were and are unsustainable and caused pain to the specialist photo retail sector. I would still say that Fujifilm as a global company has done a good job in keeping traditional photo-processing alive and when faced with the same hard decisions as Kodak and Agfa; made strategically better, more successful ones. If local policy has been found wanting, looks like that there is now the opportunity to change.

  7. Well pointed out Keith. John and Andy also have some reasonable observations. The greatest crime in all of this was not only the price point but Fuji’s obsession with building a Harvey’s led unsustainable price point on the back of the independents customer base and business. kiosks were a great way to collect locality data and i’m sure “allegedly” this was used to firm up a few business opportunities! My Rep (no longer at Fuji) showed me how you could collect this data…..i never let them near the kiosks again!

    • The really odd thing about this is that the iron curtain has come down at Brookvale. I put in a request via Fujifilm’s external PR person ONE MONTH ago asking if there was going to be a statement from Fujifilm. Still waiting for a response. The big question this all begs is what on earth Dave Marshall did to be treated more shabbily by his employer than than any senior executive in the photo industry? Anybody?

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