He's back--Rob Glaser returns as RealNetworks' (interim) CEO

Founder returns as the company loses its second chief executive in as many years.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper

What would be the runupto the 4th of July without a last-minute tech personnel shuffle? This time around it's musical chairs over at RealNetworks, where company founder Rob Glaser is back as interim chief executive after the company announced the resignation of Thomas Nielsen from the top spot.

Rob Glaser Greg Sandoval/CNET

RealNetworks remained mum about the reasons behind Nielsen's departure. The former Adobe exec came on board as CEO just eight months ago. This job is turning into the proverbial hot seat; Nielsen's predecessor, Bob Kimball, resigned after one year. Glaser himself resigned as CEO in January 2010.

A release put out by the digital media company quoted Glaser saying that he believes RealNetworks still "has a great deal of potential and opportunity" but said he will not be a candidate for the permanent CEO position.

"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."

Where have you heard that one before?

The larger challenge facing whoever sits in the executive offices is how to reverse a years-long slide in revenues. The company faces stiff competition as well as pricing pressure. During his brief tenure, Kimball attempted to streamline RealNetworks' operations in a bid to kick start growth.