Kodak Downfall

Topics: Eastman Kodak, Rochester, New York, George Eastman Pages: 8 (2950 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Eastman Kodak Company- “You press the button, We do the rest”!!! Who could have missed the catchy advertising slogan of the company who pioneered in the fields of photography for more than130 years. The motto of the company had always been to develop and make simple products that are of good quality, long sustainability, easy accessibility and easy usage became the world’s archive for photographic images. It was responsible to have invented the very first handheld camera, introducing the common masses of America to the culture of capturing images and moments coined as the very famous “Kodak moments!” Little was it known in 1880, that a small company that sold dry plates started by a high school dropout George Eastman would go on to become an iconic company known for its photographic images used in various scientific, medical, commercial and technical applications. It was Eastman’s goal not only to make photography a worthwhile leisurely experience for a common person in his daily life but also to give potentiality to the technical ease of communication of information and images within people and business, as he described that it should be “as convenient as the pencil”. The company went on to dabble at new processes and products, soaring successfully at great heights and to mention a few inventions which would be pocket Kodak camera sold at $5 and brownie camera at $1in 1900, photographic chemicals, produced film for motion pictures which have said to have won 80 Best Picture awards, the iconic invention of digital camera in 1975, and further down the lane it sold digital printers, copiers, rolls, films, digital photo frames. Not to forget, Eastman Kodak takes sole creditability for the pictures from the moon on APOLLO 11 mission in 1969 was from a Kodak camera. Backslide of Eastman Kodak Company:

The fall of the Eastman Kodak Company began slowly in the late 1990’s owing to financial struggle and cash drain at the demise of photographic films and its sale and slow progress during the transition from analog to digital shift. It failed to embrace the technological advancement and transformation and further succumbed to lag behind its digital based competitors in the business market. Slow market growth, company culture and management strategy, failed outsourcing plans and diversification problems lead to the company’s backslide. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2012 despite being the company to have invented digital photography. It obtained $950million debt, from Citigroup with an 18-month credit facility to resume its operations until 15th Feb 2013 to come up with a restructure plan. Body:

What brought Eastman Kodak Company a “No Kodak moment”?? Having a profound and great historical background for more than 130 years, the company has definitely seen the best and the worst case scenarios, strategy shifts, management of employees of up to 69, 000, research and innovation, diversification of products and methods, competition from other brands. Eastman Kodak Company ruled the photographic era since 1880 when it first invented the handheld camera, however if there has been a backslide leading to a state of bankruptcy protection then the loopholes needs to be checked and repaired. Let’s see few of the key problems faced by the Kodak Company: Corporate culture of Kodak:

The founder of Kodak, George Eastman had been the strong leader of the company and the decisions for the development and growth of the company lied entirely in the hands of the Mr. Eastman. He employed an environment of monopolist nature and never could let go the long old traditional films to new advancements. The entire company crippled in fear at the death of Mr. Eastman as lacked confidence or guidance to move forward. There was no room to raise opinions or suggestions however the work culture was to do to follow the path paved rather than a hand at new ventures, plans, ideas etc. So was the state of Kodak, that when...
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