Kodak’s chief executive officer, Jeff Clarke stated, “Following an in-depth management review of business operations and multiple discussions with prospective buyers, we have decided to retain the Prosper inkjet business. This is a pragmatic decision given the offers received during the sale process and the improvements in the business. The Prosper business performed well in 2016 with a 40% increase in annuity sales for the full year and we expect our Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division (EISD) to be profitable this year. We will continue to invest in our next generation Ultrastream technology and develop opportunities to integrate Ultrastream into printing solutions with multiple OEM partners.”
Ultrastream is the new generation of Kodak’s CIJ, a technology demonstration first shown at drupa 2016 last May. According to industry insiders that we met at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne in February 2017, bringing Ultrastream to market may entail considerable financial outlay and time. Nevertheless, along with the decision to not sell the enterprise inkjet business, there is a change at the top of Kodak’s EISD, with Randy Vandagriff becoming president effective 1 May. Vandagriff replaces current president Philip Cullimore, who is leaving Kodak to take a career sabbatical after leading many successful businesses within the company. Vandagriff has been part of Kodak’s digital print business since 2004.
At Kodak’s India cluster there is no appreciable change or comment on the change in status of the enterprise digital business. It’s ‘business as usual’ since there is no change to any function or work related to the company’s inkjet business in the country and region. The sale of Prosper engines as well as earlier inkjet heads and consumables, which has hitherto been mainly for monochrome applications, will continue as before.