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?

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