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Kodak outlines plans for CEO's departure

  • Article by: MICHELLE CHAPMAN
  • AP Business Writer
  • July 31, 2013 - 8:00 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Kodak is providing a clearer picture of its post-reorganization management plans, saying that CEO Antonio Perez will likely be replaced in the first year after it emerges from bankruptcy protection.

The photography pioneer, which was founded in 1880, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2012. Since then, the Rochester, N.Y., company has sold off several businesses and said it would shut others so it can concentrate on commercial and packaging printing.

This may be part of the reason why Kodak is looking to part ways with Perez, who was known for his digital imaging expertise. Kodak cut a deal with its U.K. pension plan in May that included the purchase of kiosks that consumers use to make prints of digital photos. It also sold its online photo sharing and printing business to Shutterfly in May 2012 for $23.8 million and has stopped making digital picture frames.

Eastman Kodak Co. said in a filing late Tuesday that Perez will stay on as CEO for up to a year or until a successor is named, whichever is first. It said he will help with the CEO selection and transition processes

Once a successor is named, Perez will resign and remain as an adviser until the anniversary of Kodak's exit from bankruptcy. He will serve as a consultant for up to another two years.

Perez was named CEO of Kodak in May 2005. The former Hewlett-Packard Co. executive had been groomed to succeed Kodak veteran Daniel Carp from the moment Perez joined Kodak in 2003 as president and chief operating officer. Carp had recruited Perez to help guide Kodak's development in the faster-paced, more crowded digital imaging arena.

While at Hewlett-Packard, Perez oversaw that company's digital imaging and electronic publishing business.

Kodak also announced that Jim Mesterharm will remain as chief restructuring officer and Becky Roof will continue as interim chief financial officer under a deal with AlixPartners, its restructuring advisory firm. The length of Kodak's agreement with AlixPartners will be determined by Kodak's post-bankruptcy board.

A confirmation hearing on Kodak's reorganization plan is currently expected to be held on Aug. 20.

Last month Kodak said that it had secured as much as $895 million to fund its operations after it exits bankruptcy protection, which the company anticipates will happen by the end of September.

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