20 February 2012

Decisions were made

Monday, 20 February 2012

So the axe has fallen. Eight members of the Engineering Services department were laid off, and two more have yet to know because of a vacation day or short-term disability. I wish the very best to those who make this sudden change from employment with Eastman Kodak: Kathy B, Mike D, Tom N, Ted R, Tony S, Greg S, and Linh V. Our department manager, Bruce B, has yet to know whether he himself remains at Kodak.

I met with Bruce at 10:00, and after a bit of small talk, Bruce read from a script that Kodak had prepared for him. I interrupted a couple times to clarify a point, but his script was short—and well performed, though Bruce avoided much eye contact. I covered each point I needed to with full composure. I was especially careful not to let out a whoop of joy that I would now have full 8-hour days to pursue another position.

I returned to my desk, took my nameplate off my cube wall, wrote an email to my friends outside of work, and sent out a prepared good-by to many colleagues at work. I looked for several close colleagues to say good-by in person, and closed up the last box of personal belongings that I needed to remove from the office. I was out the door by 11:15, and heading to the gym for an upper-body workout.

On my way home, I stopped at Fricker's just in case some people from Kodak were there for lunch. Only four were, and they suggested meeting at The Pub around 4:30. That doesn't seem now to be a great plan—it's time instead to follow up on search results I had found from

I don't believe that Eastman Kodak is at the point of thriving. Too much dead wood weighs down the very top of the company, and that includes Antonio Perez, Phil Faraci, and others who share leadership positions and board of director positions. The highest levels of Kodak are incestuous and self-perpetuating in their delusions. Kodak hasn't the nimbleness to find a logical and inventive way out of its backwardness, and Kodak may be now overly downsizing that small component that was to be the company's white knight.

I predict that Kodak will stop making film stock for cinema, that the photo kiosks will become part of history, and that the Kodak Gallery will steadily lose what market share it has now. Kodak's frenzied litigation to uphold its intellectual property rights will dwindle after several rulings against its asserted pain, and the portfolio of 1100 patents will largely not be sold, as their aging complexion loses to the beauty of new ideas  As for the Dayton division that designs and builds inkjet, digital-data printing presses, it might have done well on its own, but now the Kodak modus has overtaken what innovation was there.

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