Eastman Kodak Co, has filed for bankruptcy and announces it will downsize significantly. Kodak, the company that invented the hand-held camera and was founded all the way back in 1880, is one of America’s most well-known companies. The company currently employs 17,000 people across the world. This is down from 63,900 people only nine years ago.
Even though Kodak invented the digital camera—the company was not able to continue to embrace more modern technologies. As a result of the Chapter 11 filing, Kodak might find buyers for some of its 1,100 digital patents—which make up a large part of its value.
Kodak has had a difficult time meeting its pension and other obligations to over 65,000 retirees, workers and others who take part in its employee benefit program.
The company is based in Rochester, New York. The home base now has only about 7,000 workers—this is down from more than 60,000 employees when the company was performing well.
According to Kodak, George Eastman founded the company in 1880 and started making photographic plates. Eastman was from upstate New York and dropped out of high school. To get the company on its feet, Eastman purchased a second-hand engine to make the plates for $125. Over the next eight years, the Kodak name was trademarked and it introduced the hand-held camera and roll-up film. The company created the Brownie camera (which hit the market in 1900 and sold for only $1) and the Instamatic in 1963.
Kodak has many retirees in Britain—where the company has been manufacturing since 1891. Kodak had apparently promised to put $800 million into its British pension plan over the next 10 years. It is not yet known how Kodak will deal with all of its pension obligations.
Modern Business Associates is an HR company that focuses on payroll and HR outsourcing. We routinely work with clients on filing for bankruptcy. As a Professional Payroll and HR outsource organization, our clients rely on us to help them effectively deal with these kinds of topics.