RealNetworks CFO Marj Thomas leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After around two years on the job
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Seattle, Washington, March 10, 2017 — Marj Thomas, finance chief of RealNetworks, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by RealNetworks, Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Friday, March 10, 2017, Marjorie (Marj) Thomas leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the provider of Internet streaming media delivery software in a surprising move after around two years on the job, effective May 05, 2017.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

RealNetworks will undertake a search for a successor.

“To pursue an opportunity in the nonprofit sector”

The imminent management change is explained as follows. RealNetworks said: “Ms. Thomas has been with the Company for two years and has decided to step down to pursue an opportunity in the nonprofit sector.”

Precise information about the future plans of Thomas was not immediately available.

“Resignation”

RealNetworks said: “On March 6, 2017, Marjorie Thomas provided her notice of resignation as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of RealNetworks, Inc. …, effective as of May 5, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of RealNetworks, Inc. since June 2015.

Ariel Investments holds 18.74 percent stake

Ariel Investments, LLC reported an 18.74 percent stake in RealNetworks, Inc. as of December 31, 2016. Ariel Investments, LLC specializes in small and mid-capitalized stocks based in the United States.

Chaired by Robert Glaser

RealNetworks, Inc. is chaired by Robert Glaser.

Rob Glaser is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of RealNetworks.

On the job as CFO since 2015

Thomas will continue to serve as the Chief Financial Officer of the Company until May 5, 2017 to assist with an orderly transition of responsibilities.

Thomas has been Senior Vice President of RealNetworks Inc. since February 4, 2015 and its Chief Financial Officer since February 4, 2015.

Marjorie Thomas, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, joined RealNetworks in January 2015.

Thomas most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Finance and Treasurer of financial software leader Intuit, Inc., where she managed the company’s investments and capital strategy while overseeing a team of 43 finance professionals.

Previously, Thomas served as Senior Vice President, Finance, Corporate Controller of Sony Electronics Inc., where she was a member of the Sony Electronics Executive Committee, and she held several senior finance positions during her 20-year tenure at Hewlett-Packard Company.

Prior to that, she practiced as a CPA with Arthur Andersen.

Thomas holds a B.A. degree from Boise State University.

At the time of Thomas’ appointment as Chief Financial Officer at RealNetworks, Rob Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks, had said: “Marj is a top-talent with nearly three decades of finance experience in world-class technology companies. Marj will bring a fresh perspective and depth of industry knowledge that will be invaluable to RealNetworks as we move through the next phase of revitalizing our company.”

Unexpected

As a general rule, when a top manager announces to step down with no successor available, it is a signal that the change was unexpected and too early.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Marj Thomas’ move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 11.2017 ($).