Kodak Says Goodbye to Inkjet Printers, More Jobs

Sept. 29, 2012
Additinal headcount reduction bumped to 1,200 from 1,000 Will continue to sell inkjet cartridges Consumer film business is for sale

Eastman Kodak (IW 500/173) said Friday it would cut an extra 200 jobs and end sales of its consumer inkjet printers under its plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

The U.S. photography pioneer, which filed for bankruptcy in January, said it plans to reduce its workforce by some 1,200 -- up from a previous estimate this month of 1,000 -- in addition to the 2,700 jobs slashed so far in 2012.

"This 23% headcount reduction will result in a savings of more than $340 million per year and a smaller workforce of approximately 13,100 employees," the Rochester, N.Y., company said in a statement.

Kodak, which hopes to emerge from bankruptcy next year, said it plans to wind down sales on consumer inkjet printers, while maintaining sales of inkjet cartridges for its customers.

The company said this "will significantly improve cash flow in the U.S. beginning in the first half of 2013."

‘Making Good Progress’ on Emergence from Chapter 11

"Kodak is making good progress toward emergence from Chapter 11, taking significant actions to reorganize our core ongoing businesses, reduce costs, sell assets, and streamline our organizational structure," said Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio Perez.

Kodak is seeking to organize into three units, including the consumer film business which is up for sale.

Kodak intends to focus on its digital printing and enterprise unit and another segment including graphics, entertainment and commercial films.

"Steps such as the sale of Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging, and the Consumer Inkjet decision, will substantially advance the transformation of our business to focus on commercial, packaging and functional printing solutions and enterprise services," Perez said.

"As we complete the other key objectives of our restructuring in the weeks ahead, we will be well positioned to emerge successfully in 2013."

The company, started in 1892, led the way in popularizing the cameras, film, slide projectors and home videos that preserved the memories of generations of Americans and others around the world.

Company Has Struggled in Digital Camera Age

At its height in the 1980s, it had 145,000 workers. But it has struggled in the age of digital cameras, and years of poor performance had already forced it to lay off thousands and close 13 manufacturing plants and some 130 processing labs since 2003.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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