At the same time he will serve as CEO Carp’s strategic partner, helping Kodak increase the printing of pictures from digital cameras. Perez is a native of Vigo, Spain, and studied electronic engineering, marketing and business in Spain and France.
Perez has more than twenty-five years of global experience in the info-imaging industry, primarily with Hewlett-Packard Company. While President
of HP’s Consumer Business and Digital Media Solutions, Perez led one of HP’s major growth areas. Under his leadership, the unit reached $16 billion in annual revenue. Before that, from 1995 to 1999, Perez managed HP’s inkjet imaging business during a period when HP’s inkjet revenue grew to more than $10 billion per year. His worldwide business experience with HP includes products such as digital cameras, scanners, printers, and copiers. Ironically, Perez participated in HP’s creation of Phogenix Imaging, the Kodak-HP joint venture that has just been abandoned by both parent companies.
At HP, Perez was noted for encouraging teamwork, “building teams that measured success by achieving sustained, profitable growth through higher sales, market share and earnings.”
Perez retired from HP in 2000 and subsequently served as President/CEO of Gemplus International, a French manufacturer of the “smart cards” widely used in Europe by the financial and retail industries. Perez grew Gemplus International’s revenues by 70 percent in the company’s first fiscal year.
Kodak CEO Carp commented, “Antonio is a seasoned business leader who is a world-class expert on output, or the printing of images. His significant experience with all aspects of digital printing will help us accelerate Kodak’s output opportunities in digital and traditional markets. Our goal is to have Kodak products, technologies and services present wherever people and businesses print images.”
Perez said, “Digital imaging is my passion, and Kodak is the worldwide leader of the imaging industry. As the industry develops, Kodak will take advantage of the huge market opportunities available to companies that bridge the worlds of imaging and information technology for the benefit of customers. Those opportunities will be especially powerful in digital publishing, the printing of pictures in all their
forms as well as image-rich marketing collateral documents. The know-how at Kodak from the company’s patent portfolio to its understanding of image science is second to none.”
However, Perez told the Rochester newspaper, “I think we have to speed up” Kodak’s strategy for digital printing. But, he added, although Kodak “might be a little behind in the first mile, we have plenty of time to succeed.”
Photo industry analyst Ulysses Yannas of Buckman, Buckman and Reid thought Perez was an excellent choice. “He’s ideal for what they (Kodak) are trying to do,” Yannas said. “His whole experience is that.” And management consultant Peter Palermo, who retired as head of Kodak’s consumer imaging business in 1993, commented that Perez is “a straight-shooter, very knowledgeable, a high-energy guy.”
In a separate addition to Kodak’s executive ranks,
the company hired Yusuke Kojima, 58, formerly of Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., to be the general manager of Kodak’s consumer digital camera business, Kodak’s fastest-growing business, reporting to Willy Shih, President of Kodak’s Digital & Applied Imaging business. Kojima was also elected a corporate vice president of Kodak.
Shih said, “Yusuke Kojima is widely viewed as one of the pioneers of the digital camera industry. He has negotiated major alliances with other leading imaging companies, and he has led an organization of 4,500 people developing, marketing and manufacturing digital cameras, both in Japan and China. Kojima’s knowledge, experience and wealth of industry relationships in the digital camera business are unmatched.” Kojima is a graduate of Japan’s highly regarded Keio University.
According to the International Data Group’s IDC research unit, Olympus is number two in digital camera sales worldwide, behind Sony. Kodak is number 5 worldwide, and number three in the U.S. digicam market, behind Sony and Olympus.
Kojima will be based in Yokohama, Japan, and will share in the responsibility for all manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing of Kodak’s EasyShare line of digital cameras, working with Gregory R. Westbrook, currently general manager for Digital Hardware Solutions in Kodak’s Digital & Applied Imaging business.
Kojima was with Olympus for 35 years. Since 2001 he had been executive officer and group vice president of Olympus’s Imaging Systems Groups, and before that he served for six years as the founding general manager of the Digital Imaging Division at Olympus. He commented, “I am proud to have joined the company that invented the digital camera, and I look forward to helping Kodak accelerate its effort to expand the digital camera market and its share of that market. I expect that the Kodak brand, which is so well known for imaging excellence in the traditional market, will remain the standard of excellence in the digital world.”
News reports say Kojima’s first task will be restoring Kodak’s competitive position in digital camera sales in the Japan home market. Kodak spokeswoman
Erin Foster said Kodak had “powered down” its participation in the Japanese digital camera market because of the intense competition there. But Japan is the world’s second-largest market, with about 7 million digital cameras sold there last year. Only the U.S. market is larger.
So, said Willy Shih, Kodak plans to use Kojima’s expertise in the Japanese marketplace to “power the business back up”. Shih commented that becoming an insider in the Japanese business world is a long, slow process, so “having somebody who is well known and widely respected will be a big help”.
In other executive moves, Daniel P. Palumbo, 45, who came to Kodak six years ago from Procter & Gamble to be head of Kodak’s Consumer Imaging division, is leaving Kodak unexpectedly to become the chief marketing officer at Coca-Cola Corp. Replacing him as acting president of Consumer Imaging will be veteran Kodak executive Matthias Freund, 54. Freund will also retain his positions as Consumer Imaging’s Chief Operating Officer and CEO of Kodak’s Qualex photofinishing subsidiary.
Kodak executives said Freund “has broad international experience, and he has been and remains a leader in accelerating Kodak’s move into the digital world…”
Freund is a native of Stade, Germany, and holds a Business degree in Photo Trade Marketing from Fotofachschule, Kiel. Among his achievements at Kodak are restoring the company’s position as the leader in film share in Germany and significantly improving profit margins.