Valhalla, NY—In Innovating Out of Crisis, How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing, Shigetaka Komori, chairman and CEO of Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, recounts how he was inspired to lead Fujifilm’s journey from the brink of extinction to its current path of prosperity and growth—and a new direction.
In its recent fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, Fujifilm Holdings Corp. reported a record profit. This was in spite of the loss of its core business several years ago, which was brought on by a rapid increase in the digitalization of photography and the world financial crisis in 2008. In the year 2000, photographic products made up 60% of Fujifilm’s sales and two-thirds of its profit. Within 10 years, however, the booming market for digital photography destroyed that business. In the midst of this, Komori guided the company through an historic transition from being a traditional photographic company into a global innovator.
In his book, Komori states, “The company’s core photographic film market was shrinking at a spectacular rate, and the situation was critical. Fujifilm had good management resources, first-rate technology, a sound financial footing, a reputable brand, and excellence in its diverse workforce. If all these assets could be effectively combined into a successful strategy and applied, I was sure that something could be done to save the day. The whole of Fujifilm was depending on my managerial skills to make it happen. I was gripped by a strong sense of mission. ‘Maybe I was brought into this world to overcome this crisis,’ I thought at the time. The hair stood up on the back of my neck.”
Fujifilm is now a global company with business interests in a variety of industries. The company has been applying its unique core fundamental technologies, the results of 80 years of research and development that began with the design and production of quality photographic products.
In 2015, Fujifilm will celebrate 50 years in the United States. Fujifilm Holdings America Corporation is based in Valhalla, New York, and is the regional headquarters for the Americas. It is comprised of fourteen directly owned subsidiary companies in the U.S. and Canada, and two in Latin America. The company manufactures, markets and provides service for industries that include photographic, medical imaging and informatics, pharmaceutical and other life science industries. Industrial segments include data storage, electronic materials, chemical, and graphic arts products and services.
Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, includes a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies. In the year ended March 31, 2015, the company had global revenues of $20.8 billion, at an exchange rate of 120 yen to the dollar.
Innovating Out of Crisis is published by Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California. It is available through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, in both hard copy and e-book. fujifilmusa.com