Kodak picks new group presidents

August 28, 1991

Kodak reorganized the top management of its health, imaging, andchemicals business units this month. The position of presidentwas created for each segment. The three presidents will have worldwide responsibility fortheir groups. Few changes are

Kodak reorganized the top management of its health, imaging, andchemicals business units this month. The position of presidentwas created for each segment.

The three presidents will have worldwide responsibility fortheir groups. Few changes are expected in the firm's medical imagingbusinesses, according to a company spokesperson.

Leo J. Thomas, former vice president for the health group,which includes medical imaging products, was named president ofthe larger imaging group. Wilbur J. Prezzano, former vice presidentand general manager, international, has taken over as presidentof the health group.

The organizational changes are accompanied by a sharpenedbusiness focus on three imaging activities, according to Kay R.Whitmore, chairman and president. Those activities are:

  • silver-based products;
  • hybrid imaging systems; and
  • "alternative imaging technologies offering thepromise of continuous tone appearance."

Despite a report in The Wall Street Journal that Kodak willdeemphasize electronic imaging, the film vendor will continuedeveloping electronic imaging technology. Kodak will do so onits own and in partnership with firms such as Vortech in the picturearchiving and communications systems field, the spokesperson said.

Kodak's Imagelink product line is an example of the hybriddigital/analog technology the company will continue to support,she said.

"No major changes are anticipated in the health group,"she said. "Where we are successfully using electronics incombination with silver halide or other systems, we will continueto do so."

There is little incentive to change the vendor's health strategy.The health group outperformed all other segments in Kodak's secondquarter (end-June) of 1991. Earnings from operations for the healthsegment rose 16% to $175 million in the quarter from $151 millionin the same period last year. Earnings in Kodak's three otherbusiness segments--imaging, information and chemicals--were downfor the quarter.

Kodak also announced its intention to trim its overall workforce by 3000 employees through early retirement incentives. Theincentives will be available to qualified employees throughoutthe company. There is no way to gauge the impact of this reductionon medical imaging, the spokesperson said.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • ADAC Laboratories swallowed a $1.75 million charge againstearnings in the third quarter (end-June) of fiscal 1991, resultingfrom settlement of a shareholder class-action lawsuit (SCAN 7/31/91).ADAC had net income for the quarter of $119,000 after the charge,which was down from $746,000 in the same period of 1990.

The Milpitas, CA, imaging firm is making progress, however,in recovering from a down year in 1990. Revenue jumped 37%, from$19 million in the third quarter last year to $26 million (seegraph). Operating income more than doubled, from $821,000 in the1990 third quarter to $1.8 million.