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With a New Launch Pad, Kodak Polychrome Graphics Takes Off

October 1998
At Graph Expo and Converting Expo later this month, Kodak Polychrome Graphics—the joint venture of Eastman Kodak and Sun Chemical—will showcase a new product, its first major launch since the company's inception. The device is the Kodak Approval XP4 digital halftone proofer.

Recently, Jeff Jacobson, president of Kodak Polychrome Graphics, U.S. and Canada, met with Printing

Impressions to share his thoughts on the company's aggressive positioning in the digital halftone proofing market, the direction the now-established joint venture is heading from a technology and marketing standpoint, and why he absolutely can't tolerate the annoying acronym that often plagues this young company.

BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


Getting Jeff Jacobson to sit still long enough to give an interview is no easy task. He travels—beyond extensively—visiting commercial printing sites, attending trade shows and industry conferences, making sales calls and leading meetings with members of the Kodak Polychrome Graphics team.

Taking days off isn't in Jacobson's daily planner. He's 110 percent business, 111 percent corporate and 112 percent entrenched in marketing and sales decision-making.

As a key figure in the energetic young company that is Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Jacobson knows there is much to do, so taking time off isn't in his chemical makeup. He's decisive, hard-working—all business. He is a self-confessed workaholic.

On this particular afternoon, though, Jacobson is not traveling. He is not responding to e-mails on his laptop while flying at 36,000 feet, bound for a conference. He is not standing in front of a crowded room of trade press, fielding questions about his company's positioning in the industry and reporting on corporate activities. He is not shaking hands with a top commercial printing executive, as a critical sales call begins.

On this afternoon, Jacobson is relaxed, perhaps for a change, sitting in his office in the Norwalk, CT, headquarters of the Eastman Kodak/Sun Chemical joint venture that has caught the attention of the prepress industry.

Kodak Polychrome Graphics is a new player, but an enormous presence in the market. Jacobson speaks proudly of the company's vitality and its strength in the United States and Canada.

"The creation of the joint venture signals our parent companies' commitment to the graphic arts industry," Jacobson states definitively.

But great lineage does not equal success, Jacobson warns.

"Our parent companies' commitment brings us to the table," he says. "But this organization will thrive in the marketplace because we have the very best technology and customer support, and because we have collected an outstanding group of people."
 

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