SUNY Geneseo alumnus Jeff Clarke was elected CEO of Kodak in March 2014. Prior to joining Kodak, Clarke had a distinguished corporate career and was a successful entrepreneur in technology-enabled businesses. Clarke brings all his skills and experiences to bear at Kodak, where his mandate from the board is to drive growth for the company.
After graduating from SUNY Geneseo in 1983 with a degree in economics, Clarke started his career in the corporate world at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), which later merged with Compaq in 1998, where Clarke was made the CFO. Moving to Hewlett-Packard in 2002, Clarke became the executive vice president of global operations, responsible for worldwide supply chain, manufacturing, procurement, and internal operations.
Clarke left the corporate world and held several leadership roles at startup companies before becoming a managing partner of Augusta Columbia Capital (ACC), a private investment firm focused on middle market technology and technology-enabled businesses. Clarke was at AAC when he was approached in early 2014 about leading the former giant, Kodak, which had emerged from bankruptcy in 2013. Having spent a large part of his career coping with upheaval in technology companies struggling to survive, Clarke understood the critical role of innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit for the future of U.S. companies. The opportunity to restore Kodak to profitability and lift the sluggish economy of upstate New York was a challenge Clarke was eager to take on.
In the short time Clarke has been at the helm with Kodak, he has already made a significant impact, positioning the company to take advantage of new opportunities that align with its assets and expertise. Recently, Clarke negotiated agreements with Hollywood directors and studios to continue buying Kodak movie film for several years. Important because it retains part of the company’s legacy business, Clarke also wanted to keep a factory open and preserve jobs because he plans to re-direct those resources toward a new touch screen product.
As a former member of the Geneseo Foundation Board, Clarke funded a 250,000 USD endowment for the economics program in the School of Business at SUNY Geneseo. Earnings from this program support Geneseo’s annual participation in the Fed Challenge competition as well as speakers and other student activities that promote professional success. The support from Clarke’s gift has a significant impact on the school, enabling Geneseo students to compete head-on for jobs typically reserved for graduates of the nation’s most prestigious universities.
As one of SUNY Geneseo’s most successful alumni, Clarke has a lifetime of achievements that have made a positive impact on the world of business through innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. He has the unique ability to transition from large technology corporations to small startups and back again. Collectivly, the management education community looks forward to being part of the renewal he is fueling in the western New York area.