The Board of Directors of Eastman Kodak Company today 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 CEO.
In his role as Board Chairman, Continenza has led the company’s efforts to improve its capital structure, execute strategic M&A transactions and drive investment in growth engines, the board describes.
“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,” says Continenza. “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.”
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.
Kodak’s leadership team and board say they will continue to focus on the company’s current strategic initiatives, including:
• executing on the sale of the Flexographic Packaging Division (FPD);
• completing efficiency actions expected to result in US$40 million of annualized savings and improved liquidity; and
• driving Kodak’s key growth areas of Sonora Process-Free Plates, enterprise inkjet, workflow software and brand licensing, while working to maximize value in print systems, film and advanced materials.
“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,” says Clarke.
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