Kodak Shutters Camera Business, Focuses on Print
The Eastman Kodak Company ("Kodak"), which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 19, announced today that the company will no longer operate in the digital camera business. In a statement issued to the press, the company stated it would phase out production of its digital picture cameras, video cameras and picture frames, and would begin to license its brand and patents to other manufacturers.
Today's announcement comes as the company attempts to restructure and rebrand itself as a print-centric organization. Kodak's consumer business will now focus on printing, both online and retail, its line of inkjet printers, and online photo gallery services. The company indicated that this new positioning offers more synchronicity with Kodak's stronger business-to-business printing operations.
"For some time, Kodak's strategy has been to improve margins in the capture device business by narrowing our participation in terms of product portfolio, geographies and retail outlets. Today's announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends," said Pradeep Jotwani, president of consumer businesses and chief marketing officer for Kodak.
In a press release, the company said it would realize up to $100 million in savings annually, although the move will result in "significant" job losses, according to Reuters. Kodak expects to take a charge of $30 million to cover the layoffs resulted from job terminations.
Kodak has been moving away from the film industry, which made the company a household name, for many years. In 2004 the company stopped selling film cameras, foreshadowing recent changes. Kodak still sells disposable cameras and will continue to honor warranties on any of its camera products.
For more information, view the press release at Kodak's website.