Posted by Shirley Brady on January 18, 2012 11:55 PM
The CES announcements, the patent lawsuits against Apple, HTC, Samsung and Fujifilm, the restructuring of its business operations, have all been a precursor to this: as expected, Eastman Kodak and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
"After considering the advantages of chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio Perez stated. "Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers.
"Chapter 11 gives us the best opportunities to maximize the value in two critical parts of our technology portfolio: our digital capture patents, which are essential for a wide range of mobile and other consumer electronic devices that capture digital images and have generated over $3 billion of licensing revenues since 2003; and our breakthrough printing and deposition technologies, which give Kodak a competitive advantage in our growing digital businesses."
Kodak's restructuring website reassures consumers that it will be business as usual during the reorganization process, for which it has secured $950 million from Citigroup to maintain operations. The 131-year-old film pioneer, founded in 1880 by George Eastman, expects to complete its U.S. restructuring in 2013, while legal challenges loom over pensions in the U.K. Read the full press release below.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 18, 2012 03:08 PM
Jobs, jobs, jobs — they remain a topic utmost on Americans' minds as the slowly dropping unemployment rate largely belies the reality of a U.S. labor market that is only slowly picking up momentum. Brand executives know this, and more of them have taken to wielding job creation as a branding device, like Subway.
But corporate strategy sometimes dictates a different turn even when eliminating jobs is the last thing a brand wants to do. Among the big brands announcing layoffs in recent days: Novartis, which is restructuring its U.S. business and cutting 1,960 positions; Goldman Sachs, which laid off 2,400 employees last year with more to come; Citigroup, which is shedding about 5,000 jobs globally; Kraft, which announced that it will cut 1,600 North American jobs as it prepares to split into two companies. All eyes are on Kodak, too, as the company prepares to restructure.
Kraft — which made headlines with one high-profile hire in the past year: golden-voiced homeless-to-Hollywood phenom Ted Williams, at top — is now shedding ballast in order to survive a difficult future, where its strategy is to split into a global snack company and a North American grocery operation later this year.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 12, 2012 10:17 AM
As Kodak's chief blogger cheerily tweets from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, where it's business as usual with product news and its marketing and sales team ensconced in a booth, the company is showing gritty resolve even as it faces possible bankruptcy. It may be having its financial troubles, but it isn’t going to allow itself to be pushed around. Cue the lawyers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2012 09:01 AM
A&P prepares to emerge from bankruptcy.
ABC plans to screen new TV show in theaters.
Amazon backs Hollywood film-streaming format.
Apple's Tim Cook is America's highest-paid CEO.
Daimler still trying to fix Smart brand.
Fiat will begin to emphasize product marketing over brand in U.S.
Ford cites Thai flood impact on bottom line, while U.S. car-buyers are lukewarm to hybrids.
Fox Sports settles legal dispute with Los Angeles Dodgers.
Friendly Ice Cream exits Chapter 11.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2012 01:31 PM
Just because Polaroid isn’t producing the instant film cameras that dominated that marketplace for 60 years doesn’t mean it's just going to disappear from the scene altogether. PetaPixel.com reports that Polaroid and The Impossible Project are teaming up to release 6-10 Polaroid Classic-branded products each year. The first item in their collaboration: a do-it-yourself paper-camera kit. The kit (only $20) contains materials to create replicas of six classic Polaroid cameras out of paper. The set will include little fake Polaroids that will “develop when rubbed,” the site notes.
The two companies famously paired up in 2008 when cofounders Florian Kaps and André Bosman met at a party for the closing of a Polaroid plant in the Netherlands. The pair teamed up (along with Marwan Saba) and bought the plant and its machinery in order to take over the instant-photo business that creates products that work with Polaroid cameras. Now, Impossible has offices in New York and Vienna, while Polaroid is putting its energy into consumer electronics and eyewear these days. The two will also work together to sell off the final “batch of Polaroid film ever produced,” the site notes.
The announcement of the new products came in conjunction with the kickoff of this year’s massive Consumer Electronics Show. At last year’s CES, Polaroid announced that it had partnered up with Lady Gaga to announce its new Grey Label, which was to be co-designed by the performer.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2012 09:03 AM
Apple reportedly plans in-store branded boutiques at Target, while the iPhone's new Siri feature is said to double mobile data usage.
Porsche and Volkswagen compensation claims increase, while VW closes market cap gap with Toyota and looks to expand in China and India.
Dunkin' Donuts gears up to double number of U.S. locations.
Alcoa is scaling back.
Audi is adding models to win more U.S. market share.
Baskin-Robbins to expand to Vietnam.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2012 08:50 AM
BMW projected to beat Mercedes-Benz for US luxury crown.
PepsiCo reportedly mulls layoffs and salary freeze to appease Wall Street.
Kodak bankruptcy report in WSJ slams stock price.
Apple hires Adobe exec to oversee iAds, threatens to sue company behind Steve Jobs doll and rises at Foxconn's expense.
Australia's Commonwealth Bank crowdsources customer ideas.
Arm & Hammer ordered to pull TV commercial criticizing cat litter competitor.
Audi's China sales outstrip Germany.
Boeing closes premier factory in Wichita.
Burberry is now the most popular luxury brand on Facebook, as YouTube, MTV and Coca-Cola lead in FB engagement.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 5, 2011 09:02 AM
Arnold Palmer re-brands for a generation who never knew the golfing legend.
Audiovox rebrands to Voxx International.
BlackBerry-maker RIM warns about profit outlook.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz race to the wire for 2011 luxury-sales crown in U.S.
Boeing takes its Dreamliner on a "world tour."
Chick-fil-A spat with t-shirt maker hits the New York Times.
Corona brings beach experience to London.Continue reading...