Fujifilm Chairman releases fascinating new book on his company’s dramatic transformation

In the new book Innovating Out of Crisis: How Fujifilm Survived (and Thrived) As Its Core Business Was Vanishing (published by Stone Bridge Press of Berkeley, California), Shigetaka Komori, Fujifilm Holdings Corporation Chairman and CEO, recounts how he was inspired to lead Fujifilm’s journey from the brink of extinction to its current path of prosperity and growth – and head in a bold new direction.

Shigetaka Komori, Fujifilm Holdings Corporation Chairman and CEO.
Shigetaka Komori, Fujifilm Holdings Corporation Chairman and CEO.

In its recent fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, the corporation reported a record profit – despite the loss of its core business several years ago brought on by a rapid increase in the digitalization of photography as well as the world financial crisis of 2008. In 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 leading global innovator.

In his book, Komori stressed that: “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.”

Today, Fujifilm is a leading global company with business interests in a variety of industries including healthcare, highly functional materials, document solutions, digital imaging, optical devices – and of course, graphic systems. The company has been applying its unique core fundamental technologies, resulting from 80 years of research and development that began with the design and production of fine-quality photographic products. Komori’s new book is now available through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, in both hard copy and e-book formats.




Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.