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Why the Dean of "Constructivist Activist" Investors Just Lit the Fuse on This Stock

It's one of those conversations that sticks with you, even as the years - or decades - pass.

It was the mid-1990s, and I was talking with the George M.C. Fisher, CEO of Eastman Kodak Co. (Nasdaq: KODK). The topic: Kodak's longstanding struggles and Fisher's plan to jump-start the once-dominant photo giant.

Much of Wall Street wanted Fisher to slash costs, divest futuristic growth-focused businesses dealing "digital photography" and run the entire company in a way that would pump up cash flow to finance buybacks and dividend increases.

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