Rob Glaser Named Permanent CEO of RealNetworks

Loses ‘Interim’ Tag As He Heads Up Turnaround Effort
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Rob Glaser has been appointed permanent CEO of RealNetworks, shedding the “interim” tag he’s carried for about two years at the company he founded in 1994.

As RealNetworks' permanent CEO, Glaser will try to complete the company’s transition and turnaround, which includes a heavier emphasis on cloud-based, multi-device products and the revitalization of the Rhapsody subscription music service.

“Rob is the best person to complete Real’s turnaround and to lead the company into the future,” said Dominique Trempont, lead independent director of the RealNetworks board, in a statement. “The Board greatly respects his leadership, vision, and the excellence of the team Rob has assembled.”

“I’m honored to be named Real’s CEO. In the 2 years I’ve been interim CEO, we’ve made tremendous progress revitalizing Real’s leadership team and products,” Glaser added, noting progress with products such as RealPlayer Cloud, LISTEN and the upcoming Slingo Adventure, a game that will look to put a new spin on the slots/bingo mix.

The company announced that RealPlayer Cloud has more than 5 million registered users, up from 2 million three months ago. RealPlayer Cloud users now now upload more than 4.5 terabytes of content each day on an aggregate basis, it said.  Rhapsody International , in which RealNetworks holds a 45% stake, recently surpassed 2 million paying subs.

Glaser originally served as CEO until January 2010. He’s served that role on an interim basis since July 2012. RealNetworks’ previous CEO, Thomas Nielsen, was named  SVP of products at Brightcove last year.

Also on Wednesday, RealNetworks reported second quarter revenues of  $40.8 million, down from $49.9 million in the year-ago quarter, and a GAAP net loss of $21 million (59 cents per share), widened from a year-earlier $18.5 million, or 52 cents per diluted share.

"While our transition plan will take time to complete and will require more capital than originally anticipated,  I'm very confident that we are on the right track and making progress that is setting us up for a return to long-term growth and profitability," Glaser said.

As of June 30, 2014, the company had $195.0 million in unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, compared to $226.2 million as of December 31, 2013. It expects to post third quarter revenues in the range of $33 million to $36 million, and a loss of between $18 million to $20 million.

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