Real's CEO Robert Kimball exits after only a year

It looks like Robert Kimball has had enough of being RealNetworks’ chief executive.

After only a year in the top job he has decided to end his 12 year history with the outfit.

In a statement Kimball said that he took the top job to lead a restructuring and transformation of RealNetworks into a more lean, efficient, and effective business.  In other words he has been a bit of an axeman.

Kimball said he had done all that and removed more than $70 million in annualised operating expenses and created an entirely new, award-winning product called Unifi.

He said he was leaving to find new challenges and opportunities.

However the move seems to have been a bit of a surprise to the company as it has not found a person to take up the reigns of power.

Mike Lunsford, Real’s executive vice president, will serve as interim chief executive officer while the board searches for Kimball’s replacement. Lunsford has a history of filling in. He worked at EarthLink from 1999 to 2007, including a stint as the internet service provider’s interim chief executive.

Kimball took over as president and interim CEO for the media software company in January 2010 when founder Rob Glaser resigned after 16 years as chief executive. Before that he was the outfit’s lawyer.

Glaser praised Kimball’s tenure saying that he lead the company through a difficult transformation and accomplished a lot in a short time. So it is not as if there is any bad blood between the two.