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RealNetworks' chief Robert Kimball jumps ship

Robert Kimball, 12-year veteran and current president of the company, has announced he is to leave media streaming specialist RealNetworks immediately - just fifteen months after taking on the role of chief executive.

"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," Kimball claimed in his leaving speech. "Over the past year we have simplified our business, removed more than $70 million in annualised operating expenses and created an entirely new, award-winning product called Unifi.

"After 12 amazing years at Real, it is time for me to find new challenges and opportunities. I want to thank the Real team for their incredible work over the past 15 months - we've come a long way in a short time and I look forward to watching their success in the coming years."

With Kimball gone, RealNetwork is currently a ship without a captain. While Mike Lunsford - previously the company's vice president - has been named as interim chief executive, the company will have to struggle on without a president during the search for a replacement.

"We deeply appreciate Bob's strong leadership through a difficult transformation," claimed RealNetworks founder Rob Glaser. "As CEO, he accomplished a lot in a short time. He has established a strong foundation upon which the company can build in the years to come. Bob has made a real difference at RealNetworks over the years and we thank him for his great contributions."

Kimball's departure from the company comes around two months after it decided to remove around 130 employees from its payroll as it struggled to 'simplify' its business in order to stem losses to rivals Adobe and Apple in the streaming media market.