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Mark Zupan on Kodak

With the recent news about Kodak stock plunging, and word that the firm has hired a restructuring law firm and is potentially mulling bankruptcy, Simon Graduate School of Business Dean Mark Zupan is reflecting on Kodak’s challenges and its global impact.

Zupan observes that the world we live in is hypercompetitive, both in terms of business and technology. As a result of global competitiveness and rapid technological change, there is a constant need for reinvention, and that applies to governments, firms and individuals. Citing the Dow Jones, only one company from the original index remains–General Electric. That underscores just how hard it is to remain relevant and the need for continuous reinvention. Zupan points to firms like Goodyear and IBM, both of which were on the brink of bankruptcy but went through significant transformations and experienced major comebacks. Kodak’s impact on Rochester and the world over the years is a testament to its success, Zupan says. Kodak founder George Eastman set in motion a history of philanthropy that has extended to higher education including the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among several others. Zupan says the impact those alumni have had on society is arguably Kodak’s biggest legacy of all.

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