Former Kodak CMO describes company’s transformation

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Chicago—Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO-corporate VP at Eastman Kodak Co., Friday explained his approach to marketing leadership, which was instrumental in Kodak’s transformation from a b-to-c to a primarily b-to-b marketing company.

Hayzlett, author of the “The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing,” said Kodak once generated $15 billion annually from film sales. Now, it generates $200 million. The company had its own mirror test: “Will it fog the mirror?” Hayzlett asked.

The company transformed itself as the traditional film market collapsed with the rise of digital cameras. The company is now 80% b-to-b-oriented.

Hayzlett said his approach to leadership during this transformation included six main tenets: 1) ask employees 2) involve everyone and make it a priority 3) chart progress 4) reward good behavior, confront bad 5) fire people and some customers 6) remember: Mood is everything.

“Many people at this company believed our best days were behind us,” Hayzlett said. “We worked to completely turn that around so that we believe our best days are ahead of us,” he said.

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