Kodak established itself as a brand leader in photographic equipment

    Kodak established itself as a brand leader in photographic equipment in the 1930’s. Due to poor product line expansion and a refusal to update its management techniques, Kodak found that Fuji was taking over the photographic industry by 1980. In response, they hired Colby Chandler to take over and revitalize Kodak’s corporate structure in 1983. He took over a company that had once been the only choice for photographic equipment, but now was no longer able to compete due to the significant foothold of the Japanese in the industry. By dividing the company into separate divisions and updating its management techniques, Chandler was able to regain a significant place in the photographic industry.
    Kodak had begun as a simple, one-division company. Chandler split it up into four divisions: imaging, information systems, health products, and chemicals. In order to ensure Kodak’s place in the imaging world, he bought up photo-finishing companies so that Kodak could supply the chemicals and the paper to be used to create photographs. The different departments were able to compete separately for different purposes.
    Chandler recognized that Kodak’s management was a problem. He discovered that the current managers used outdated techniques, and that the different departments did not communicate effectively with one another. In 1990, Chandler decided that a corporate restructuring was in order. He downsized management, then eliminated Kodak’s lifetime seniority policy in order to get rid of ineffective employees and bring in new blood. He encouraged a division of labor that would allow for new, innovative ideas that wouldn’t take too long to be approved. In the end, he took a risk-taking approach to businesses that put Kodak once again on top of the photographic industry.

Works Cited:
History of Kodak. Retrieved January 18, 2007, from Kodak Web site: http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/kodakHistory/1930_1959.shtml

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