RealNetworks Acting CEO Bob Kimball Speaks on Rebuilding the Company, Transforming the Culture, and Spinning Off Music and Games

2/11/10Follow @gthuang

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be a simpler and more focused business.”

—Interesting commentary on Real’s challenges to date: “RealNetworks’ sheer complexity slows us down and makes it difficult to innovate where it counts most,” Kimball says. “The four businesses create too much complexity for a company of our size.” He called the organization “bloated” and its focus “diluted”.

—Kimball talked about changing the culture of the organization, and both empowering employees and making them more accountable. He stressed intensity, discipline, and efficiency as being the operational keys to success.

—In terms of growth, Kimball talked about putting out more products and expanding Real’s business customer base among groups like network service providers and digital storefront owners. Real currently sells it services to more than 80 wireless carriers around the globe. (See the deal with Sprint announced today.) On the consumer front, he noted that as of the end of last month, 200 million videos have been downloaded on RealPlayer SP, which rolled out last summer.

—Some potential investment areas for Real: more cloud-based services, social-networking aspects of games, and “smart and targeted M&A is also going to generate value for us,” he says.

—Kimball’s first public comments about Real’s new strategic direction were certainly newsworthy, but of course talk is cheap. “I expect my comments alone won’t change much today,” he says. “What matters is actions, not words.”

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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