Kodak Alaris


The Challenge

In January 2012, Eastman Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company was given just over a year to come up with a restructuring plan and soon began to court buyers for a number of its business units. A key part of this process was the ‘spinning off’ of the firm’s Document Imaging and Personalised Imaging business to KPP (Kodak’s United Kingdom pension fund) for ‘cash and non-cash consideration of $650M’. KPP now owns a combined business employing 3,800 staff and generating turnover in excess of $1Bn; the new business has been named Kodak Alaris.

We won the assignment through a competitive pitch process because we demonstrated an excellent understanding of the requirements the unique ownership structure presented. The new owners needed to recruit a Chairman who would be responsible for building and maintaining a high performance Board as well as acting as an ambassador and steward for this newly formed company. International experience in a Chairman role was essential as this was a new company with a newly formed and inexperienced board. In addition the company had operations in both the UK, USA and China as well as a global network of agents.

Attracting candidates of the calibre required was a challenge as on the face of it; Kodak Alaris was not a particularly attractive proposition to a senior executive who already had an excellent reputation and plenty of opportunities. In addition there was some urgency to get key board members in place. Therefore we looked for candidates for whom business turnaround was a normal business practice and who would see the unique business structure as a benefit.

“In addition we successfully completed the search for a CEO with the appointment of Ralf Gerbershagen as well as two Non-Executive Directors.”

The Outcome

A longlist of 13 candidates was put together within 10 weeks of which 6 were interviewed by the selection committee and 2 were taken to a final stage. The view of the committee was that they would have been happy to have offered the job to either of the final stage candidates but the relationship and rapport with the CEO was what decided the outcome. The entire process from longlist to offer was 15 weeks. It emerged during the course of the search for the Chairman that there was a requirement to recruit a CEO and two Non Executive Directors which we were asked to undertake in addition. This added even more complexity to an already challenging assignment.

The role was awarded to Mark Elliot who took on the Chairman position with effect from May 1st 2014. His solid experience in management, sales, software and services together with his diverse corporate board leadership has brought a fresh and bold perspective to Kodak Alaris.

In addition we successfully completed the search for a CEO with the appointment of Ralf Gerbershagen as well as two Non-Executive Directors.

Our team operates across a broad range of sectors, with a depth of market expertise in the major sectors listed below: