Just sent the following out to the RealNetworks' team:

Dear Team:

On behalf of RealNetworks’ Board, I’m very pleased to announce that the board has chosen Thomas Nielsen to be RealNetworks’ new permanent CEO. We will be announcing this publicly in a few minutes. Thomas will be starting next week, on November 9th.

Thomas is both an outstanding leader and a great fit for RealNetworks. Thomas is a product guy who knows how to stimulate software product innovation and to drive businesses forward. He just left Adobe after 7 years where he was VP of their Digital Imaging Group, in charge of Photoshop and several other products that accounted for over $500 Million in revenue. Prior to that Thomas had a 5 year stint at Microsoft in Redmond. Thomas grew up in Denmark, and started his career at MGI Software in Toronto, Canada.

The search was the most thorough and extensive of any I’ve been seen in my 30 years in the business. The board reviewed dozens of CVs and interviewed over 20 candidates. It took a little longer than we originally projected but the extra time spent was well worth it.

We were comfortable taking a little extra time due to Mike Lunsford’s outstanding leadership as our interim CEO. I’m pleased to report that Mike will be continuing on at RealNetworks in a senior capacity, reporting to Thomas.

For those of you resident in the Seattle office there will be a reception with cake and ice cream at 4PM on the 9th in the Atrium. Those of you in the field and around the world will have a chance to meet Thomas “virtually” at the broadcast of our next company meeting scheduled for November 14th.

On behalf of our entire board I would like to thank Mike, the senior team and everyone at RealNetworks for driving things forward during 2011, and offer a hearty welcome to Thomas.

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