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How Did Kodak End Up Bankrupt?

Kodak's inability to move from film to digital was part of its downfall.

Kodak Eastman filed for bankruptcy Thursday, going the way of other major corporations that failed to keep up with the changes in their respective industries. Bloomberg reports that its debt

Kodak Eastman filed for bankruptcy Thursday, going the way of other major corporations that failed to keep up with the changes in their respective industries. Bloomberg reports that its debt was listed at $6.8 billion, while its assets only totaled $5.1 billion.

So how did a company that had a facilitating role in preserving some of the most iconic moments in 20th century history fail to make a similar mark on the 21st? The Wall Street Journal reports that the difference between Kodak and one of its biggest competitors, Fujifilm Holdings, was their executives' action in the face of impending change.

Fuji decided to embrace the rise of the digital era, not only updating its film-based strategy with other photographic tools, but also applying its "chemical expertise for broader uses, such as drugs and liquid-crystal display panels."

In an interview with the newspaper, Fujifilm chief executive Shigetaka Komori noted that corporate governance and embracing change was their key to survival. "The most decisive factor [for our success] was how drastically we were able to transform our businesses when digitalization occurred," Komori said.

 

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