The Future of Kodak


Despite optimistic comments today from CEO Antonio Perez, the fact is, Kodak has a long, tough road ahead.  The new Kodak faces fierce competition from heavyweight companies.  Here's what two experts think about Kodak's future.

Alexis Christoforous from CBS Money Watch says it's not your grandmother's Kodak anymore. "And it's now going to go from a huge behemoth if you will to this much smaller company that's really just going to be fighting for a place at the table."

Christoforous reports on Wall Street.  She says the new Kodak faces an uphill battle as a commercial imaging, packaging and printing company.  "Now the business of commercial packaging and printing for instance, that's like when you take the plastic labels that are found on a juice bottle. That segment is highly fragmented and competitive. And Kodak's share of that market is relatively small."
University of Rochester Simon School of Business Professor Larry Matteson is a former Kodak executive. He says Kodak has a future in commercial printing but there's competition from powerhouses like Xerox, H-P and Canon.  "There is a potential for success but it is still potential, there is a lot of hard work."

Christoforous agrees.  "It's line of high speed ink jet printers, which it will still be in that business, are competitive with Hewlett Packard and Canon.  and it's digital offset printing products control about 35 percent of the market. So there are some bright spots."

Both also think Kodak's new CEO needs to be an outsider with a new mindset.  Christoforous would look for someone who doesn't over value its products.  "That was one of Kodak's biggest downfalls. It saw film as a cash cow and rode it too long."

Matteson says "It's easy to look at someone and say they were very successful in this area and that will translate into another, but it's not that easy. They need someone with a different perspective.  Someone who is more hands on "

"Going forward" says Christoforous, "We would hope that new management at Kodak is going to see its strengths and capitalize on that and understand when products are just not going to be competitive or keep up with the changing landscape."

Rochester will always have it's Kodak memories.. This next Kodak moment will determine what happens to the company in the future.

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