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RealNetworks chief steps down amid dropping share

updated 05:50 pm EST, Wed January 13, 2010

Real founder Rob Glaser out

Real tonight surprised the industry as its chief executive and founder Rob Glaser is stepping down from his primary role. The early web video pioneer will be temporarily replaced by Robert Kimball as acting CEO but will still have both his role as board chairman and his existing investments.

His departure isn't directly explained, though the company says he will continue to participate in politics and charitable casues. However, Kimball notes that he plans to transform RealNetworks into a "more focused and more profitable" company under his leadership.

The timing of the departure is noteworthy as it follows a dismissal of RealNetworks' case against the MPAA for its attempt to block sales of RealDVD, which has so far proven successful and essentially exhausted all of the company's immediate options. RealPlayer has similarly struggled to regain share on the web as Flash, Silverlight and traditional plugins like QuickTime have either replaced or continued to hold off the early format.

Lately, Real has placed a greater emphasis on its Rhapsody music service and integrated it into numerous Internet-aware home electronics devices, including VIZIO TVs, iPhones and TiVo DVRs.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Mike Richardson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's too bad

    It really is too bad. RealNetworks did have some good tech back in the day, from 1.0 to 5.0 or so, and they set some milestones on the Internet. Things started going downhill with RealPlayer G2 - although they still had good streaming technology, it began to be buried by their worsening client program. Microsoft's anti-competitive actions, as well as QuickTime's debut into video streaming contributed to RealPlayer's fall. Flash Video was the final nail in the coffin. No one uses RealPlayer technology anymore.

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe back in the*BUFFERING*...
    *BUFFERING*... '90s they were cool, but having to administer the Real server was a horrible pain in the a*BUFFERING*...
    *BUFFERING*.. ss. Darwin Streaming Server was much nicer, and Flowplayer and flash video even better still.

    And all the goddamn cruft in the Real installers? For that alone they should be killed b*BUFFERING*...
    y fire.

  1. chas_m




    Once again, a company that once catered to Mac users and then neglected them to pursue the greener pastures of Windows has fallen on hard times ...

    ... maybe something for Adobe to ponder on ...

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good Riddance

    He was not fit for CEO; or anything tech related for that matter. All he had was a useless mouth.

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