RealNetworks unveils founder as new CEO with aim of becoming ‘the video cloud service’ of the next 10 years

RealNetworks has taken it back to the old school by appointing its founder and long-time CEO Rob Glaser to the exact position he vacated four years ago.

Glaser, who has been working as interim CEO for the past two years, has been given the keys to the company on a permanent basis and is being tasked with turning the company’s fortunes around by moving it to the cloud.

In an interview with re/code, Glaser stated that recreating a once successful firm is quite the task as “re-creation now is harder than just doing a startup, where you can work from a blank sheet of paper”. His decision to sign up for the gig permanently has been motivated by the fact his changes are in their first phase, adding “we are at the midway part of the turnaround and have fixed the product part, so the next steps are critical.”

Much of Glaser’s grand plan centres around moving its once renowned RealPlayer into the cloud and in that regard the RealPlayer Cloud online video service currently has five million registered users, which is up from just two million three months ago.

Regarding that piece of software, he stated the company is “laser-focused on making video work perfectly across all devices and formats…there is a big opportunity to be the video cloud service for the next 10 years.”

There are a number of other parts of the company such as a games unit and it also owns a 45 per cent stake in the Rhapsody music service that already has two million paid subscribers.

Glaser currently owns 37 per cent of RealNetworks and the company was once worth $10 billion [£6 billion] in early 2000 before the crash of the “Web 1.0” economy saw its value bottom out with the current price set at $282 million [£167 million].