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 ROCHESTER, N.Y., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Kay R. Whitmore, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK), will step down when an external successor has been appointed, the company has announced today.
 The independent directors of the company issued the following statement:
 "The independent members of the Board of Directors of Eastman Kodak Company have decided to replace Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Kay R. Whitmore, and have engaged the services of an executive search firm to conduct an external search. The search will begin immediately, and will be overseen by a special committee of the Board, consisting of Roberto C. Goizueta, committee chairman, Alice F. Emerson, John J. Phelan, Jr., and Richard A. Zimmerman.
 "This action follows, and is a logical extension of, our previous commitment, stated publicly on May 3, 1993, to ensure that the performance of the company is significantly improved, and to work with senior management at Kodak to develop a comprehensive plan to do so.
 "A good deal of progress has been made by present management in developing a plan with respect to strategy, operations, business portfolio and measures of financial performance. We are generally pleased with the current progress on the portfolio review, cash flow generation, and planned debt reductions. However, we believe there is a clear need to move faster and further on operating cost efficiencies and enhanced earnings.
 "This Board action is not based primarily on the quality of the strategic and operating plan as developed to date, but also on the need for solidly improving the energy and efficiency with which the company will be run in the future. It is also based on the recognition that implementation of the plan will extend over a multi-year time frame, and it is therefore appropriate that it be advanced by the new chief executive officer.
 "We expect substantial progress to continue during this transition period under the guidance of Mr. Whitmore, who will remain in his current position until the new Chairman/Chief Executive Officer is appointed. Over the next several months, enhanced plans for cash flow generation and debt reduction will be executed, and continuing work will go forward at an accelerated pace on efforts to reduce costs and expenses, as will all the activity underway in the Imaging and Health Groups to improve operating performance.
 "Because the complete plan will require the input of the new Chairman/CEO, it has been decided to postpone the public announcement of a plan previously scheduled by management for September. However, we expect that Mr. Whitmore will issue a letter to shareowners and employees commenting on current progress as soon as possible after the August 13 Board meeting.
 "The independent directors extend their sincere thanks to Mr. Whitmore for his dedication and commitment to Kodak over his thirty-five year career. We appreciate his willingness to continue to serve in his current capacity, and to manage the changes which must be brought about at Kodak, during this transition period.
 "We would also like to express our deep respect and appreciation to the fine and talented Kodak men and women around the world. Their hard work is positioning Kodak for even greater success in the future, as it so richly deserves.
 "We are committed to helping management in the ongoing development of plans which maintain a tight focus on Kodak customers and consumers and support Kodak men and women in their efforts to deliver significantly greater value for the company's shareowners."
 The independent members of the board of directors of the Eastman Kodak Company are Richard S. Braddock, Paul E. Gray, Martha Layne Collins, Karlheinz Kaske, Charles T. Duncan, John J. Phelan, Jr., Alice F. Emerson, Richard A. Zimmerman and Roberto C. Goizueta.
 -0- 8/6/93
 /CONTACT: Paul C. Allen, media relations, Eastman Kodak Company, 716-724-5802/

CO: Eastman Kodak Company ST: New York IN: CHM LEI SU: PER

BM -- CL001 -- 0167 08/06/93 08:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993

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