RealNetworks CEO Resigns; Hunt Underway for Replacement

That was quick. Bob Kimball has resigned as president and CEO at RealNetworks after being promoted to the position a year ago in January.

A search is underway for a replacement, and in the interim, the board has appointed Mike Lunsford as a temporary replacement.

In a statement, Kimball said: “I took on this role to lead a restructuring and transformation of RealNetworks into a more lean, efficient and effective business and we have completed that phase of RealNetworks’ transformation.”

During his watch, he has eliminated more than $70 million in annualized operating expenses and created a product called Unifi, which is a digital locker on mobile phones. “All this work has set the stage for Real to embark on its next phase with a clean bill of health and a strong foundation,” he added.

Many of the cuts came in the form of layoffs, including cutting 25 percent of the VPs earlier this year. He’s had a no-nonsense approach to telling shareholders that the company has a lot of catching up to do since it had a nearly nonexistent product pipeline. “Because some of our past products failed, we have work to do to rebuild our pipeline,” he previously said.

Kimball has been at Real for the past 12 years, and was appointed to the CEO role after Founder Rob Glaser stepped down.

Glaser, who is currently chairman, was also quoted in the release: “Bob has made a real difference at RealNetworks over the years and we thank him for his great contributions. We are pleased to have Mike Lunsford in place to lead the company in the coming months while we search for a permanent CEO.”

Lunsford, who joined the company in 2008, is currently Real’s executive vice president.

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