Kodak’s Faded Picture of Health: A COVID-19 Moment to Exit Photos and Enter Pharmaceuticals?


After a century of innovation and global domination in chemical-based photography, Kodak lost the consumer photo market to digital cameras and cell phones. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2012, Kodak has seen its niche market serving business clients steadily erode. With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Kodak was once again in critical condition. Then, the Trump administration announced it was awarding a USD 765 million federal loan to Kodak to expand into pharmaceuticals in order to reduce dependence on foreign supplies of essential ingredients to make medications. This case presents and allows students to analyze the challenges of making business entry and exit decisions, even (and perhaps especially) for a legendary company like Kodak. Is this Kodak’s moment to enter pharmaceuticals?

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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