One member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness heads a company that will likely seek bankruptcy protection in coming weeks after 131 years in business and a once-prestigious place among corporate mammoths.
Eastman Kodak Co. is making final efforts to avoid filing Chapter 11 but has already began making preparations by talking to banks about $1 billion needed to keep it afloat during the proceedings, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Kodak is in discussions with large banks including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.
Kodak CEO Antonio M. Perez is on Obama’s council that was created to provide non-partisan advice to the President on continuing to strengthen the Nation’s economy and ensure the competitiveness of the United States and on ways to create jobs, opportunity and prosperity for the American people.
Perez’s bio on the White House website begins:
“Since joining the company in April 2003, Kodak’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Antonio M. Perez, has led the worldwide transformation of Kodak from a business based on film to one based primarily on digital technologies.”
Despite the fact that Perez, formerly CEO of Hewlett-Packard, attempted to lead Kodak toward more digital and print-based markets, The Wall Street Journal says that it was his strategy of using patent lawsuits and licensing deals to keep the company afloat that brought to a head its 2011 financial demise.