At its peak, in 1996, Kodak was rated the fourth-most-valuable global brand. That year, the company had about two-thirds of the global photo market, annual revenues of $16 billion, and a market capitalization of $31 billion. At the time of its peak local employment, in 1982, the company had over 60,000 workers in Rochester, most of whom worked in Kodak Park, as it’s known to employees and locals. The campus, a private city within the city, sprawled over 120 acres with its own power plant and fire department, once stood as a monument of imaging and innovation. Today it still stands, but vastly scaled back from the days when film production was at the core of Kodak’s work.
With a bitter blizzard hammering down in upstate New York, a bankruptcy judge had just approved a proposal to resolve a big chunk of Kodak’s $6.8 billion in debt and pave the way for it to emerge from Chapter 11 after more than a year of insolvency. The company expects to finalize the process and exit bankruptcy protection in the third quarter of this year.Why didn't they go whole-hog into digital? Possibly because the film business was so profitable for so long they couldn't bring themselves to give it up.