RealNetworks has chosen Thomas Nielsen as its new president and CEO, succeeding interim CEO Mike Lunsford. He starts next week and is intended to bring what RealNetworks’ chairman and founder Rob Glaser says is a strong digital product background to the company.”>RealNetworks has chosen Thomas Nielsen as its new president and CEO, succeeding interim CEO Mike Lunsford. He starts next week and is intended to bring what RealNetworks’ chairman and founder Rob Glaser says is a strong digital product background to the company.
In an interview with paidContent, Glaser didn’t specify what kinds of products the board is hoping to see from Nielsen, saying that it will be up to Nielsen once he fully starts. “We’ve decided not to comment on the strategy,” Glaser said, adding that he had been more involved in the company as part of managing the search to replace Lunsford. But now, he’ll step back a bit. “I’m taking the Goldilocks approach,” Glaser said, adding that he’s not completely stepping away from overseeing the company, but not being involved on a regular basis either. “In other words, ‘just right.’”
Lunsford has been with RealNetworks since 2008 and will continue to on at the company “in a senior capacity, reporting to Nielsen,” RealNetworks said.
While RealNetworks is a pioneer in online video and audio, with both a consumer side and an enterprise side, but a lot has changed in the streaming media space since the company opened its doors in 1995. For one thing, the increase in the amount of internet radio providers, including Pandora (NYSE: P), Last.fm and Spotify. While RealNetworks jettisoned subscription music service Rhapsody last year, the company has lately been looking to connect with other streaming services instead of simply offering direct competition.
For example, it’s looking to get some mileage from Apple’s delayed iTunes Match cloud service, which allows users to store their entire music library in the cloud for listening on their various devices. Whenever Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is ready to launch the service, RealNetworks has released a software called “Rinse,” which promises “to clean up their music collections” before using iTunes Match. The service fixes misspellings of song titles and artist names, identifies songs without titles and remove duplicates.
Nielsen, 41, most recently served as VP of the Digital Imaging Group at Adobe Systems (NSDQ: ADBE), which includes Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom, in addition to mobile, web and tablet solutions. Prior to his seven years at Adobe, Nielsen spent five years at Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) in the media segment. Release