Financial Affairs

White House adviser Navarro tears Kodak executives apart as dumbest ever

White House Trade Advisor Pierre Navarro lambasted the leaders of Eastman Kodak Monday for their handling of a government loan to produce pharmaceutical ingredients in the United States.

“From what I can see, what happened at Kodak was probably the dumbest executive decisions made in company history,” Navarro told CNBC. “Screaming box.”

“You can’t fix ‘stupid’,” Navarro added. “You can’t even anticipate this degree of stupidity.”

The $ 765 million government loan to Kodak was pause as the Securities and Exchange Commission investigates the company’s disclosure of the transaction, which has been officially announced July 28.

Shares of Kodak, known for producing photographic film, soared on news of the pharmaceutical loan. The stock languished around $ 2 per share for months, but climbed to $ 60 per share the day after the trade.

However, the commercial activity of Kodak shares picked up significantly the day before the official announcement. Questions were also raised about the timing of stock options granted to the Executive Chairman of Kodak, Jim Continenza.

In Monday’s interview, Navarro said the investigation into Kodak’s potential wrongdoing should take its course. “We don’t know why this happened or what they did. Let the investigation unfold. Kodak is also conducting an internal investigation, but we are moving forward. We are not looking in the rearview mirror.”

“I have 30 projects on my board across the street,” added Navarro, who has praised the importance to relocate the pharmaceutical supply chain to the United States, especially in a world of coronavirus.

A Kodak representative declined to comment.

Kodak shares fell more than 9% on Monday, trading around $ 7.65.