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Industry Exclusive: Bing Liem Takes New VP Post at Fujifilm Insider

Jerry Lansky

Bing Liem, formerly the president of AgfaPhoto USA , has joined Fujifilm as vice president of sales planning for the imaging group.

An internal announcement was made to employees on April 17 by Hank Hayashi, group vice president of the firm's imaging group, who stated that Liem would be reporting directly to his office. No public announcement has been made as yet.

In the bulletin, Hayashi said, “Bing will work closely with our divisions and me to ensure that our sales effectiveness and organization structure maximize our capability in the marketplace.”

Sources have indicated that Fujifilm would be announcing a major reorganization in the near future that could represent a downsizing of the operation. Also, that Liem's title, a new one for Fujifilm, might be changed at that time.

A spokesperson for Fujifilm would not comment on any personnel changes or reorganization that may be in the offing.

Liem has been a high profile executive in the photo business as president of AgfaPhoto, a firm he joined in the early 1980's. He rose through the ranks of sales and marketing, becoming president and CEO of AgfaPhoto in 2001 with responsibility for Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S.A.

Though the last of the major minilab manufacturers to offer a digital system, Liem's group launched the d.lab which became a highly popular series among Agfa's strongest customer base, the independent photo specialist.

With the introduction of the d.lab-1, a compact, single-step digital system, Agfa was able to approach the huge mass merchant market with a competitively priced machine. Among its success with that system, Agfa dethroned Fuji as the exclusive supplier to the huge Walgreens chain. His new association with Fuji could help cement stronger ties with the Walgreens account.

The chaos created by the insolvency of Agfa in Germany late last year put Liem in the spotlight, as the unfolding of events created considerable confusion on these shores. He was able to keep his dealers relatively satisfied with service parts, consumables, and, the most difficult area, answers—when possible. He faced a potentially unruly group of Agfa dealers at a PMA sponsored session at PMA, Orlando, in February, and was considered to have done a good job of keeping matters on a business-like level.