“It's very difficult for us to recommend Kodak for people,” says Joseph Ryan, vice president of Brighton Securities. As a financial analyst, Ryan has studied Kodak’s performance for years, especially for the last three years under CEO Antonio Perez.
“The true measure for the local economy are the jobs, for the investors, it's the stock performance, and he's O for 2,” says Ryan who is also skeptical of Perez’s new choice for Kodak’s president and COO, Philip J. Faraci.
“Phil's getting promoted here for having promoted massive job cuts. That's his accomplishment to this point,” says Ryan, “it's a sign that they still don't have a handle on what they're doing and that's unfortunate.”
Faraci is taking over for James Langley who will leave the company at the end of the year. Faraci was already a senior vice president at Kodak, supervising the photo giant’s Consumer Digital Imaging Group (CDG). Under the new title, Faraci will be responsible for both CDG and Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group (GCC). Langley is senior vice president of GCC but is in the process of transitioning his responsibilities to Faraci.
From a financial analyst’s perspective, despite Kodak’s move to trim administrative costs, Ryan says the company still cannot compete in the digital photo market effectively. He also points to the company’s stock performance which continues to struggle at one-third of what it once was at its high in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“This is a difficult environment for Kodak that I don't believe they succeed at,” says Ryan who adds the company is also facing similar problems to other Rochester businesses when it comes to keeping employees in the area Kodak needs them most: new technology.
“They don't want to work where they're shoveling, putting boots on six, seven months out of the year. Those are realities that exist,” says Ryan, “it's very difficult to produce things from Rochester, New York and compete on a global basis, it's just very hard.”