The soap opera continues at the streaming media company. Thomas Nielsen, a former exec at Adobe Systems, took the top job in November — about eight months after the previous CEO, Robert Kimball, abruptly left in the middle of a restructuring. He lasted about a year. Nielsen and the board “mutually agreed that the CEO position wasn’t the right fit,” company founder Rob Glaser says today. He stepped in as Interim CEO but the company says he “is not a candidate for the permanent CEO position.” According to an SEC filing, Nielsen can collect severance of $37,500 a month for 18 months and $168,299 in a lump sum. He’s also subject to a one-year non-solicit, non-disparagement, no-hire and non-competition agreement. RealNetworks shares are up 17% in 2012, but are down 36% for the last 12 months. Here’s the company’s announcement.
Seattle, WA—July 3, 2012—RealNetworks, Inc. (Nasdaq: RNWK) today announced that Thomas Nielsen has resigned as president and CEO. RealNetworks chairman and founder Rob Glaser has been appointed Interim CEO, effective immediately.
“I come back to RealNetworks with a sense of great urgency to set the company on a long-term path to success,” said Glaser. “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.”
The board of directors has begun a search for a new CEO. Glaser said he is not a candidate for the permanent CEO position. No further changes in leadership are expected.
“The board and Thomas mutually agreed that the CEO position wasn’t the right fit,” Glaser added. ”We thank Thomas for the contributions he has made in moving RealNetworks forward and wish him well in his new endeavors.”