BREAKING: Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett to Step Down (UPDATED)

May 14, 2010
By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist

Jeff Hayzlett

In a surprise announcement, Kodak said today that its Chief Marketing Officer Jeffrey W. Hayzlett will step down on May 28th to "pursue personal projects."

Hayzlett, who has worked for Kodak since 2006, has been an outspoken cheerleader for the Rochester-based company on social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. He currently has over 21,000 followers on Twitter.

In recent weeks, Hayzlett has used Twitter to plug his new business advice book, "The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing" published by The Hachette Book Group.

When asked by PDN Gear Guide via Twiter whether he had anything more to say about his resignation than was in the Kodak press release (shown below), Hayzlett responded with the following direct message.

"Wow! @TheMirrorTest made TheDailyBeast-This Week's Hot Reads list, is #261 today on Amazon& #9 on 'Mover &Shaker' List!"

Described in his Hachette bio as "a big, boisterous guy who has the guts to get in your face and tell you exactly why your business isn't doing well," Hayzlett was recently interviewed on the Huffington Post.

In the interview, Hayzlett discussed how he handled complaints about Kodak.

"At Kodak, our complaints used to be like 40-some percent of our internet traffic. You know, before, cause that's just the way it works," Hayzlett told Huffpo. "Now it's less than 7 because we integrated with this and said 'Okay, when someone says 'f you and your f-ing product, you f-ing suck'. Okay, that's someone who has a problem. I wanna hear that. I wanna know that person. And I wanna reach out to them and say 'what's your problem?'."

Hazlett also noted in the Huffington Post interview that he hasn't alway seen eye-to-eye with corporate public relations.

"I've had in the corporate world my public relations, community relations people walk up to me and say Jeff, I don't think this is appropriate that you wrote 'Bite Me' to this guy. I look at them and I go, well that's who I am. The guy said something very offensive, he had no right to say it, I'm sorry. They say well please be nicer, so now I write 'Please Bite Me.'"

More details in the press release below.


Kodak CMO Jeffrey W. Hayzlett Resigns to Pursue Personal Projects

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 14 -- Eastman Kodak Company announced today that Jeffrey W. Hayzlett will resign as its Chief Marketing Officer, effective May 28, to pursue personal projects.

After his tenure as CMO concludes, Hayzlett will provide transitional services to Kodak through the end of August. Concurrently, the company plans to reposition the role and structure of the Office of the Chief Marketing Officer to best meet the needs of Kodak’s growth strategies.

Hayzlett, 49, joined Kodak in April 2006 as Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of the company’s Graphic Communications Group. He became the Chief Business Development Officer in September 2007, and the company’s Board of Directors elected him a corporate vice president in October 2007. In January 2009, Hayzlett became the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Antonio M. Perez.

“We thank Jeff for his contributions to the company, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Perez said.

“When I joined Kodak four years ago,” Hayzlett said, “I knew that we could do great things together, and I have not been disappointed. I love this company, I love this brand, and I am proud of what we have accomplished. Kodak is definitely on the right track, and the time is now right for me to devote my full energy to a variety of personal projects.”

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