Business

Kodak continue job cuts in bid to leave bankruptcy

Monday, September 10, 2012 | 11:01 AM    

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NEW YORK, USA (AP) — Kodak said today it is reshuffling executives and cutting thousands of jobs as the pioneering photography company tries to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Eastman Kodak said it cut about 2,700 employees worldwide since the beginning of the year and plans to cut about 1,000 more by the end of 2012. Annual savings from the cuts should reach about US$330 million, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Kodak’s workforce peaked in 1988 at nearly 150,000 employees. But the company couldn’t keep up with the shift to digital photo technology and with competition from Japanese companies such as Canon.

“We recognise that we must significantly and expeditiously reduce our current cost structure, which is designed for a much larger, more diversified set of businesses,” Chairman and CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement.

Kodak expects to exit bankruptcy some time in 2013. The company said earlier this year that it would stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames as it tries to reshape its business.

The company also said today that President Philip J Faraci and Chief Financial Officer Antoinette P McCorvey are leaving their posts.

Rebecca A Roof a managing director of AlixPartners, the company’s restructuring advisory firm, will become interim CFO.

Roof has served in similar capacities for other companies that have emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructurings. Kodak said she has experience in reducing overhead costs, implementing cost reduction programmes, managing liquidity and raising capital and executing asset sales, which the company called “critical areas of focus” as it restructures.

Kodak has a new unit that includes two businesses that are for sale, Personalised Imaging and Document Imaging. The company announced last month that it was looking to sell those businesses.

Kodak was founded in 1880, and it introduced the iconic Brownie camera in 1900, making hobby photography affordable for many people. Its Kodachrome film, introduced in 1935, became the first commercially successful amateur colour film.

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