Rob Glaser is not wasting any time cleaning house.
Two weeks after the company reappointed the founder as CEO, it said today it has trimmed its workforce by 10 percent.
RealNetworks said it cut 85 positions worldwide today, leaving it with roughly 765 employees. The Seattle-based digital media pioneer did not provide a lot of details about what positions or divisions were being eliminated, other than to say it was primarily related to its “legacy business.”
We’ve asked a spokeswoman for more details, but did not hear back immediately.
UPDATE: In a note Glaser sent to RealNetworks’ employees earlier this afternoon, and later posted to Facebook, he provided a little more context on the reasons behind the layoffs. “Transitioning Real from a focus on our legacy businesses to a company driven by our new growth initiatives is a hard process. Sometimes the transition isn’t as smooth as we wish were the case, and this is one of those times. Having said that, our board, our senior management team, and I all believe that we are on the right track with our new initiatives.”
In recent years, RealNetworks has struggled to find traction and profits, but as part of the announcement that Glaser was back in charge, the company emphasized its new RealPlayer Cloud video-sharing technology, which has surpassed 5 million users.
In a document filed with the SEC, RealNetworks said it expects to record up to $2 million in charges associated with this reduction in force in the quarter ending Sept. 30.
The layoffs are reminiscent of an announcement made almost exactly two years ago. At the time, it reduced its workforce from 1,140 people to about 980 people through two stages of layoffs. In the first wave, 80 people were sacked, and in the second phase — to take place three to seven months later — another 80 would be let go. In addition, the company has taken other measures to downsize over the years, including the spin-off off of Rhapsody, for which it still owns a 45 percent stake.