Kodak names Jim Continenza as executive chairman

Kodak CEO Jeffrey J. Clarke steps down

Jim Continenza
Jim Continenza will lead Eastman Kodak as the new executive chairman.

The board of directors of Eastman Kodak Company on 20 February announced the appointment of Jim Continenza as the company’s new executive chairman, effective immediately. Continenza, who has served as chairman of Kodak’s board of directors since 2013, will continue as board chairman while also assuming the responsibilities of Jeffrey J. Clarke, who is stepping down after nearly five years as chief executive officer.

Continenza, has led the company’s efforts to improve its capital structure, execute strategic M&A transactions and drive investment in growth engines. He brings robust experience and a proven track record guiding several leading, innovative technology companies through transformations.

Continenza said, “I am thrilled to build upon our board’s strategic vision and become an integral part of day-to-day operations as the company continues to execute on its previously announced initiatives. Importantly, I look forward to helping Kodak build long-term value for shareholders as we continue to deleverage our balance sheet, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize the potential of our key growth drivers. I’d like to thank Jeff for his strong leadership and I’m optimistic about the future of Kodak given our team, our assets and the opportunities ahead.”

Kodak’s leadership team and the board will continue to focus on the company’s current strategic initiatives, which include – executing on the sale of the Flexographic Packaging Division (FPD), a business that has demonstrated high growth; completing efficiency actions expected to result in USD 40 million of annualized savings and improved liquidity; driving Kodak’s key growth areas of SONORA Process-Free Plates, enterprise inkjet, workflow software and brand licensing, while continuing to maximize value in print systems, film and advanced materials; and commitment to growth in motion picture film, having seen 32 Oscar nominations for films shot on film in 2019.

Former CEO Jeffrey J. Clarke said, “It was a privilege to lead Kodak during a time of transition and am pleased to leave the company in a position of strength after the execution of the agreement to sell our Flexographic Packaging Division. The Board and I mutually agreed that now is the time to hand the reins to new leadership, and I am confident that Jim is the right leader to take the Company to the next phase of its transformation.”

Clarke will be available to Continenza and the board to ensure a smooth transition.

Continenza currently serves as chairman of the board of Merrill Corporation, LLC and Sorenson Communications LLC. He also serves on the board of directors of Nextel International, Inc. Continenza is also the founder, chairman and CEO of Vivial Inc., a privately held marketing technology and communications company. Continenza was previously chairman of the board of Tembec Inc., Neff Rental, LLC, Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc., Southwest Georgia Ethanol, LLC, BioFuel Energy Corporation, and Portola Packaging, Inc. He also previously served on the board of directors for Hawkeye Renewables, Blaze Recycling, LLC, Anchor Glass Container Corporation, Rath-Gibson Inc., Rural Cellular Corporation, U.S.A. Mobility, Inc., MAXIM Crane Works, Inc., Arch Wireless, Inc., Broadview Networks, LLC, Teligent, Inc. and Microcell Telecommunications, Inc.

Clarke’s seat on the board will be filled by Phillippe D. Katz, newly appointed director of Kodak. Katz has served as partner at the investment firm of United Equities Commodities Company since 1996. He also sits on the board of directors of Berkshire Bancorp, Inc. and several private company boards.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here