updated 10:29 pm EDT, Wed September 12, 2012
Patent auction final hearing scheduled for September 19
Bankrupt Eastman Kodak has announced its intention to lay off 1,000 more workers by the end of the year, and more job losses may be necessary to stay afloat. Kodak's workforce has fallen to approximately 14,700 from a peak of 145,000 some 30 years ago. Additionally, two members of upper management have departed the company as a result of restructuring forced by the continued Chapter 11 protections. Final results from its patent auction are expected at a September 19 final hearing.
Kodak's bankruptcy plan called for an exit from protections by early 2013 assuming strong results from a patent auction portfolio expected to be worth upwards of $2.5 billion. Reports from sources familiar with the matter report that the investor groups' bids for the patents totaled less than $500 million.
Chief Financial Officer Antoinette McCorvey and Chief Operating Officer Philip Faraci will be departing the company. In a statement about the departures, CEO Antonio Perez said that "Kodak is becoming a more focused and competitively scaled company. We recognize that we must significantly and expeditiously reduce our current cost structure, which is designed for a much larger, more diversified set of businesses." He added that Kodak is "reorganizing our senior management team, an action that will help accelerate the creation of a sustainable cost structure for operating our business for the benefit of our customers and position our Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses for successful sales."
Eastman Kodak announced at the end of August it would sell its print-film business and several other related businesses to raise additional funds. Kodak's businesses up for sale include heavy-duty commercial scanners with embedded optical character recognition for form processing, a business that takes photos of theme park visitors, and kiosks that print digital photos. The cost-savings expected from the layoffs, the patent auction, and the sale of business assets are intended to generate billions of dollars loaned to Kodak to continue operations through its restructuring period.