/// At RealNetworks, Laid-Off Workers Are Streaming Out the Door

August 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital


They’re swinging the ax once again over at RealNetworks. The digital media pioneer, which is in the midst of yet another effort to rebuild its business, said Tuesday that it is sacking about 7 percent of its workforce and may lay off an additional 7 percent in the months ahead. Some 80 RealNetworks employees will lose their jobs as a result, with another 80 left in a lousy will-I-still-have-a-job-by-the-end-of-the-year limbo for the next few months. The move, part of Real’s plan to reduce costs by $45 million, was announced to employees in a company-wide email from founder and newly-returned CEO Rob Glaser . Dear RealNetworks Team, I’m writing to provide an update on the progress we’ve made over the past 8 weeks and to provide some context and information regarding the layoffs that are taking place today. When I came back in as Interim CEO on July 3rd, I said we would focus on 3 things: Reviewing and assessing all of our businesses and new initiatives, Coming up with a go-forward Strategy for RealNetworks that would set us up to grow and thrive, and Putting together a plan to stop burning cash and to return the company to profitability. I also said we would move fast, have a bias towards action, and would work hard to complete all 3 of these efforts within 2 months. After a lot of hard work by many people across the company and around the world, today I report to you that we have indeed achieved the 3 objectives we set out to work on beginning 8 weeks ago. Very soon I will have a lot more to say about our collective assessment of our businesses & new initiatives, and about our go forward strategy. Specifically, we have scheduled a series of company meetings – both in Seattle and at our main offices around the world – for on or around September 6th. After these meetings I believe that each of you in attendance will walk away with a clear understanding of our strategies and excitement regarding where we’re going. Today I will discuss our plans to return the company to profitability — in a way that will set us up for future growth & success. As we mentioned on our financial results call on August 8th, our senior team has put together a plan to cut at least $45 Million of annualized costs. This plan has several aspects to it; one of the main ones is to streamline our operations and to do things more efficiently. Unfortunately, a major part of this streamlining entails reducing our workforce from approximately 1140 people to about 980 people. We are doing this in two phases. The first phase, which begins today, involves laying off approximately 80 people, who are being given notice today. The second phase, which will take place over the next 3 to 7 months, involves approximately 80 more people, who are being notified today that there is a specific future date when their current assignment will be ending. We hope to redeploy a number of these people when their current assignments end, but as of today don’t know how many we will find positions for. These people are working on projects that will merge duplicate systems or otherwise make us more efficient

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At RealNetworks, Laid-Off Workers Are Streaming Out the Door


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