Andrew R. Evenski
Andy, can you tell us a little about your history with Kodak?
I have been with Kodak for over 30 years. I’ve been fortunate to spend a large percentage of my career here working with our silver halide products – including leadership experience in the motion picture business. I also come from a big Kodak family. My dad retired from Kodak at the age of 60, after spending most of his 30+ year career in Kodak Park’s Building 12 in Air Conditioning Services which maintained proper humidity for motion picture and sheet films. My sister and two brothers worked at Kodak, as did all of my mother’s three sisters and her father. With such a deep connection to this company, I feel truly privileged to step into this role in order to continue the long tradition of providing our customers with the products and support they deserve.
What excites you most about your new role?
From a personal standpoint, I’m excited to be learning new things. I’m enjoying working directly with this customer segment, which has helped me to truly appreciate Kodak’s brand heritage, and the important role Kodak plays within the industry. While the industry is obviously changing as it navigates the digital era, motion picture film technology is a vital part of the entertainment community, and continues to be the preferred artistic choice by many filmmakers. It is also an important option for content owners as film remains the most reliable preservation medium in existence, and is critical to archiving of motion picture content.
As I said, becoming president of Kodak’s Entertainment & Consumer Films division carries the responsibility of maintaining a tradition of quality and leadership. I am tasked with integrating manufacturing into the business and working to find balance relative to our pricing, volumes and manufacturing productivity.
You mentioned Kodak’s great heritage in the motion picture industry. Putting business aside, what is your all-time favorite movie?
Well, recently I’ve enjoyed the Iron Man films, and I’m a fan of the Star Trek franchise – but I have to say that my favorite movie of all time is White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. It was made in 1954 and it’s just one of those old song-and-dance classics that I love. Not a year goes by that my family doesn’t sit down and watch this movie together. It has actually become part of our heritage as well! What a loss it would be if films like these weren’t preserved and made available to future generations. In that regard, I’m very proud of Kodak’s role within the industry, and our ability to help safeguard these treasures for years to come. That’s why asset protection – and our family of new asset protection films – is such a focus for us
How will you keep the business sustainable as volumes change over time?
First, Kodak and Kodak’s products remain relevant in today’s marketplace. The company continues to play an essential role within the broad spectrum of markets it serves including the motion picture industry, film for consumer electronic applications, and the printing business. About 33% of the world’s consumer electronics are made using Kodak printed circuit board film. And today, Kodak products touch 40% of the world’s commercially printed pages.
Our Entertainment Imaging (EI) business also continues to be a leader in the marketplace. Just take a look at the films getting Oscar® buzz—Lincoln, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables, Argo, Django Unchained, and Moonrise Kingdom, among manyothers were all shot on Kodak. We still manufacture billions of feet of film every year. We also recently signed four new contracts with major Hollywood studios that are committed to buying Kodak film products through the end of 2015. According to Kodak’s current business Emergence Plan, EI continues to be the largest driver of film manufacturing volume for the company into the future.
There are also alternative demands for our film technologies – which feed a number of printing applications as well as thin film and specialty chemicals growth opportunities. We are working with customers that need film base outside of the imaging category (flexible displays, fuel cells, thin film batteries, etc.) and who are taking advantage of our experience, process development and manufacturing methods to help build solutions that meet the needs of their specific applications. Leveraging our manufacturing expertise and know-how within film, our deposition technology and history in materials science, substrates and chemistry are key to our success in the future.
What does the ‘new’ Kodak look like, and how does E&CF fit into that picture?
The new Kodak will certainly be a smaller company with a shift in focus from consumer to B2B. The emerging company will also move forward with a great deal of emphasis on commercial printing in the packaging, publishing, commercial and functional print segments.
The core technologies developed within Kodak’s silver halide portfolio are what will feed our growth in areas such functional printing, which is all about printing, coating and depositing physical structures on a substrate or surface to create functionality beyond text and images. Functional printing enables a multitude of products such as organic solar cells, OLED displays, e-readers, flat batteries, RFID tags, sensors and actuators for smart packaging, even low cost electronic gadgets suitable for one-time use.
So, hopefully this gives you a snapshot of how film and film technology is helping Kodak’s expansion into other business models. Leveraging our expertise and existing relationships to push beyond our traditional categories will also help with the sustainability of those traditional portfolios such as motion picture film.
With E&CF as part of the emergence plan, we’re also looking at opportunities to create more alignment between our business structure and that of the emerging company. That will ultimately help us to stay focused on our customers and our industry.
In your crystal ball, what does the future hold for this business?
Of course, we have our challenges, given the evolution of the industry . However, I see film as a sustainable material into the future if we are successful at three critical things:
- Maintaining our high quality
- Sustaining production capability and supply continuity
- Remaining focused on our customers and understanding their future demands as the industry continues to evolve
As the marketplace changes, so too must we adapt our business. But, please be assured that this team is committed to making smart choices for our customers and for the industry – and continuing to supply the highest quality products expected from the Kodak brand.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a great 2013!