RealNetworks CEO steps down

CEO Thomas Nielsen has resigned from the company after less than a year with the digital media provider.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Seattle-based RealNetworks Inc. said Tuesday that President and CEO Thomas Nielsen has resigned from the company after less than a year with the digital media provider.

Until another candidate is found, chairman and company founder Rob Glaser will be taking on the role of interim CEO. In a press release, Glasser said:

"The board and Thomas mutually agreed that the CEO position wasn't the right fit. We thank Thomas for the contributions he has made in moving RealNetworks forward and wish him well in his new endeavors."

Nielsen became CEO of RealNetworks on November 9 last year, after leading Adobe Systems Inc.'s digital imaging business for seven years. Since joining the company, stock has fallen by approximately 10 percent, closing Thursday at $8.78.

Mr. Nielsen's predecessor, Bob Kimball, resigned last March after a little more than a year as CEO after replacing Glaser. A number of other management figures, including Chief Financial Officer Michael Eggers and Chief Legal Officer Tracy Daw have also jumped ship in the last two years.

The return of the interim CEO will not be permenant in that particular position -- as Glaser has said he is not a candidate for the position. In a statement, Glaser says:

"I come back to RealNetworks with a sense of great urgency to set the company on a long-term path to success.

RealNetworks has a great deal of potential and opportunity, with huge reach and distribution of our products, key carrier partnerships, talented employees, terrific technology assets and significant financial resources. I am committed to accelerating our business and product strategy to bring great products to our customers and run the company efficiently, and thereby create shareholder value for our investors."

RealNetworks is well known for its RealPlayer media player software, but its dominance in online streaming services has been cast aside through the developments of rival corporations including Microsoft and Apple.

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