Sunday, June 7, 2015

Canadian Kodak Company, 1961

Canadian Homes, June 1961

According to the company's website:

George Eastman, Kodak's founder, coined the now-famous slogan "you press the button, we do the rest". 
Kodak Canada Inc. was founded in 1899, almost a decade after the incorporation of its parent company, Rochester-NY-based Eastman Kodak Company. Its first office, at 41 Colborne Street in downtown Toronto was established after John G. Palmer was sent by George Eastman to investigate the burgeoning Canadian market. Impressed with the growing metropolis, Palmer was convinced that Toronto offered great opportunities for the photography business. Just two years later, the company was so successful that it had to relocate to larger quarters on King Street. The popularity of picture-taking stimulated Kodak Canada's growth, resulting in the establishment of offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. 
On June 15, 2005, the Eastman Kodak Company announced that it had completed the acquisition of Creo Inc., which was headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. Now part of the Kodak Graphics Communication Group, the operations are at the heart of driving our digital growth.

So much for the glory days. Since 2003, Kodak has shed 23,000 jobs.  According to a 2012 online article in Canadian Business, Kodak's purchase of Creo might have saved the parent company.  Instead, Kodak's corporate culture ruined this innovative firm and dragged it down to bankruptcy.  The article's author, Michael McCullough, wrote:

According to insiders, soon after Kodak’s acquisition of the company, a textbook process of hollowing out began. Over the objections of Canadian managers, departments were cut and operations outsourced. “I could prove to them it was more economic to have people in Vancouver doing certain things,” says one ex-executive who asked not to be named. “We had a ton to offer. I think we really could have helped them.” Instead, “people were protecting their turf. Whatever we were doing, they absorbed it into their departments.”

A story that seems to be played out over and over again.

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