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Jul 31, 2013 12:00 AM
ROCHESTER — Antonio Perez, who oversaw Eastman Kodak Co. during one of the most trying periods in company history, will be stepping down from the position by fall 2014 at the outside.
The Rochester-based printing and imaging company said Tuesday night that Perez will serve as CEO of the company once it exits from bankruptcy, but only until a successor is named or for a year, whichever comes first. He then would serve as a consultant for up to two years.
In a statement, Kodak said the post-bankruptcy management team, with Perez at the helm at least temporarily, “will ensure continuity ... and has the expertise to continue the implementation of the company’s business transformation.”
Kodak has maintained it expects to wrap up its bankruptcy before the end of September and tentatively anticipates that emergence date to be Sept. 3.
The post-bankruptcy leadership was worked out with the syndicate of financiers that are guaranteeing the financing Kodak will use to pay for its bankruptcy and fund its operations in the immediate future.
Perez’s tenure has been marked by major tribulations for the company. He started with Kodak in 2003 as president, under CEO Daniel A. Carp. Perez became CEO two years later.
It was starting in 2003 that Kodak began a massive, four-year restructuring that saw it shed thousands of jobs, demolish numerous buildings at Eastman Business Park and sell off such business lines as health imaging. And it was under Perez that in January 2012 Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While in bankruptcy, Kodak has eliminated health care benefits for retirees and ended its digital camera and desktop inkjet printer lines.
However, with the company looking for a new business model to replace the chemical-based film and imaging work that had been its cash cow for decades, it was Perez who put together a strategy revolving around various aspects of printing, said Art Roberts, head of Kodak retiree group EKRA. Kodak’s plans for emerging from bankruptcy have it selling its camera film and document imaging businesses and focusing almost exclusively on printing technologies.
Under Perez will be:
-- Douglas J. Edwards, who will remain in his current position as digital printing and enterprise.
-- Brad W. Kruchten, who will remain in his current role as president of graphics, entertainment and commercial films.
-- Terry R. Taber, who will continue to be chief technical officer.
-- Eric H. Samuels, who will remain as controller.
-- Patrick M. Sheller, who will continue to be general counsel.
Two people appointed to key corporate roles during the bankruptcy — Chief Restructuring Officer James Mesterharm and interim Chief Financial Officer Becky Roof, both of whom work for business consultancy AlixPartners — will stay in those roles until Kodak’s board decides to end its arrangement with AlixPartners, according to the release.