Antonio M. Pérez
|Antonio M. Pérez|
|Born||Antonio Manuel Pérez Álvarez
|Alma mater||Technical University of Madrid, INSEAD|
|Known for||CEO of Eastman Kodak|
An American citizen born in Vigo, Spain, Mr. Perez studied electronic engineering, marketing, and business in Spain and France, graduating from the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid). He subsequently earned a MBA at INSEAD. In 2009, he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Rochester.
Prior to joining Eastman Kodak, Antonio Pérez spent 25 years working at Hewlett Packard; at the end of this time he was Corporate Vice President and a member of the company's executive council. In his career, Mr. Perez has held a variety of positions in research and development, sales, manufacturing, marketing and management both in Europe and the United States. Immediately prior to joining Kodak, Mr. Perez served as an independent consultant for large investment firms, providing counsel on the effect of technology shifts on financial markets. From June 2000 to December 2001, Mr. Perez was President and Chief Executive Officer of Gemplus International. Mr. Perez served as a director of Schering-Plough Corporation from 2007 through November 2009 and Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. from 2004 to 2007.
Stint at Eastman Kodak
Pérez was named president of Kodak on April 2, 2003. On May 19, 2005 Pérez was named CEO of Kodak after the retirement of Daniel Carp. On January 1, 2006, he became Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.
Under Mr. Perez, who joined Kodak from Hewlett-Packard in 2003 and became chief executive in 2005, the company has tried to reinvent itself by focusing on printers, packaging and work force software, however, under Pérez's leadership the price of Kodak shares has decreased from around 25 dollars (in 2005) to less than 1 dollar by September 30, 2011 and the number of Kodak employees has been reduced to about 7000 in the Rochester, NY area where Kodak is headquartered. Pérez was named one of the worst CEOs of 2011 by several online financial news source and online publications including CNBC and the Motley Fool. Mr. Perez financed those efforts with billions in licensing fees from Kodak’s intellectual property, but analysts warned that Kodak was burning through cash too quickly and could eventually run out.  
On January 19, 2012 Kodak officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, under which the company has until February, 2013 to provide an acceptable restructuring plan.
In a video message, Antonio Pérez was quoted as saying, “What everyone should expect from Kodak is business as usual.” Many business critics point out that "business as usual" is the problem with the Kodak Business model.They questioned how Kodak would emerge from bankruptcy as a viable company since it has not yet proved that its turnaround strategy, focusing on consumer and commercial printers, can turn a profit.
Shannon Cross, an analyst who has had a sell rating on Kodak since 2001, said the problem for Kodak was that its core businesses had not been making money and the company had been living off licensing fees for intellectual property.“To me it’s not clear that the pieces that will be left at the end make sense as a stand-alone company,” she said. “It’s sad that it happened. It’s not a surprise, the way it’s been managed.”
In explaining the bankruptcy, Mr. Perez said his turnaround efforts were hurt by the recession, which slowed new business growth and expedited the decline of the film business. He said the objectives of the reorganization included obtaining new financing to shore up confidence in Kodak, selling some of the company’s patents and adjusting “legacy” costs – like health care benefits for retirees – to the company’s now smaller size.
“Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation,” he said in prepared remarks. Under the leadership of Pérez, Eastman Kodak Co. announced on February 9, 2012 that it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in a move that will mark the end of an era for the 132 year old company.
Awards, recognitions, and controversy
Pérez received the 2008 Corporate Distinguished Achievement Award from the B’nai B’rith International for his humanitarian works and services. In 2009, Pérez received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Rochester during the presidency of Joel Seligman. Also, in 2009, Antonio Pérez was named one of the Top 10 CEO's "To Go", according to 247wallst.com. He was criticized for being one of the worst CEO's in the nation, citing the decline of Eastman Kodak during his stint as CEO.
In February 2011, Perez was appointed to President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is also a founding board member of Change the Equation, a CEO-led initiative to move the U.S. to the top of the pack in science and math education over the next decade.
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Daniel A. Carp
|CEO of Eastman Kodak
June 1, 2005 – present