RealNetworks’ CEO Glaser Resigns

RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser
RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser
Source: RealNetworks

RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser has resigned from his post as CEO after 16 years, saying it was time to “step away” from the day-to-day operations of the Seattle-based company.

“I’m grateful to all of our stakeholders — customers, partners, shareholders and, most of all, employees — for the support and commitment they’ve given to RealNetworks,” Glaser said in a statement announcing his departure.

Glaser, who in 1994 founded what was then known as Progressive Networks, will still remain as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Robert Kimball, formerly RealNetworks’ general counsel and corporate secretary, has been named president and acting CEO and will also join the company’s board of directors. He joined the company in 1999.

“I look forward to the opportunity ahead,” Kimball said in a statement. “Real has a great team in place, a strong financial position, close customer relationships and fantastic products. We plan to transform Real into a more focused and more profitable company that delivers value to our shareholders.”

On Tuesday, COO John Giamatteo also tendered his resignation, effective April 2.

RealNetworks (NASDAQ: RNWK) shares closed up $0.11 to $3.86 a share ahead of the news before falling $0.05 to $3.81 in after-hours trading.

The management shakeup comes less than a week after U.S. district judge threw out an antitrust lawsuit filed by RealNetworks, alleging that Disney and other movie studies had illegally barred the use of RealNetworks’ software to make copies of DVDs.

Last year, the studios prevailed in their suit claiming that RealNetworks’ RealDVD product violates federal copyright laws.

“Real’s purported injury stems from its own decision to manufacture and traffic in a device that is almost certainly illegal,” U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel wrote in her decision.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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