Las Vegas, NV—The board of directors of Eastman Kodak Company appointed Jim Continenza as the company’s executive chairman, effective immediately. Continenza, who served as chairman of Kodak’s board of directors since 2013, also assumes the responsibilities of Jeffrey J. Clarke. Clarke is stepping down after nearly five years as CEO.
Responsibilities of Executive Chairman
In his role as board chairman, Continenza, 56, led Kodak’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.
“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,” said Continenza. “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. I’m optimistic about the future of Kodak given our team, our assets and the opportunities ahead.”
Eastman Kodak Strategic Initiative
Kodak’s leadership team and board will continue to focus on the company’s current strategic initiatives, including:
- Executing on the sale of the Flexographic Packaging Division, a business that has demonstrated high growth
- Completing efficiency actions expected to result in $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
- Commitment to growth in motion picture film; Kodak saw 32 Oscar nominations for films shot on film in 2019.
“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,” said former CEO Jeffrey J. Clarke. “The board and I mutually agreed that now is the time to hand the reins to new leadership. I am confident that Jim is the right leader to take the company to the next phase of its transformation.”
Moreover, 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. In addition, Continenza is the founder, chairman and CEO of Vivial Inc., a privately held marketing technology and communications company.
Furthermore, Phillippe D. Katz, the newly appointed director of Kodak, fills Clarke’s seat on the board. 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.