A shocker but a move five years too late: Rob Glaser, the founder and CEO of RealNetworks , is stepping down as the leader of the company after 16 years. The pioneering online video company has appointed Robert Kimball, who till now was the corp EVP, as president and acting CEO; he has also been appointed to the board. A formal search for a new CEO will start now, and Kimball will be a candidate as well, a RealNetworks’ spokesperson tells me. Glaser will remain as the chairman of the board; he is also the single largest shareholder of the company.
The company said Glaser will step away from day-to-day activities, and focus on spending time with family, and his various philanthropic and political interests. He is a big democratic supporter and one of the founders of Air America, among others. I would not be surprised to see him running for some public office someday soon.
It’s the second senior executive change for Real in as many days. The company announced Tuesday that COO John Giamatteo is leaving effective April 2, but says the two moves are unrelated.