Rob Glaser, the sometimes vocal and outspoken founder of Real Networks, announced today that he is stepping down from his position of nearly 16 years but will remain the company's chairman of the board. The company also announced the appointment of Robert Kimball, the company's general counsel and executive vice president of corporate development, as the president and acting CEO. Kimball also joined the company's board of directors.
In a statement, Glaser said the time has come for him to step away from the day-to-day operations but that he remains committed to the company and its efforts. In February 1994, Glaser founded what was then known as Progressive Networks, growing the company over the years and innovating to deliver digital entertainment products and services -and even stirring up some controversy along the way.
The company remains engaged in a legal battle with the Motion Picture Association of America, which successfully argued for an injunction against RealDVD, a Real Networks software product launched in September 2008 that would allow consumers to "rip" copies of their personal DVDs for playback on others devices while keeping them stored away - similar to what iTunes allows with music CDs.