Kodak to End Desktop Printer Business, 200 More Jobs to Be Cut

Eastman Kodak Company has added another section to the story that began when the company filed for chapter 11 earlier this year. The century-old company will cease making desktop inkjet printers as early as next February, adding 200 more jobs to the 3,700 that are expected to be cut by the end of the year.

Antonio Perez, CEO of Kodak, said on Friday that the company is seeking a Feb. 28 deadline to close the door on its desktop business, a move that could cost $90 million as the company writes down the value of its assets. The company will continue to sell ink for the printers currently on the market. Analysts predict the company will be able to sustain desktop ink sales for three years following the shift.

The company’s desktop printer business began in 2005, when Perez joined the company after working at rival Hewlett-Packard Co., one of the world’s largest desktop printer producers. The company invested hundreds of millions into developing its desktop printer business, and began selling the inkjets in 2007.

Friday’s announcement is the most recent in a series of steps Kodak has made to scale back its business following its Jan. 19 bankruptcy filing, when it was revealed that the company owed $6.75 billion to more than 100,00 parties. In February, the company shuttered its iconic camera business and sold its online photo services to Shutterfly in March. Kodak has also announced plans to sell its consumer and imaging units, and to auction off 1,100 of its digital patents, valued at up to $3 billion. The patent auction was not completed by the end of September, putting further financial pressure on the company.

Kodak has stated that it wants to focus its future efforts on selling printing equipment and commercial services to businesses. The business restructuring, and resultant 3,900 layoffs, will reduce the company’s workforce by 23 percent by next February, saving the company $340 million annually. The company will need to generate more than $600 million to repay a bankruptcy loan and emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.

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