Wed, 05/24/2023

RealNetworks appoints Chris Wheaton as President, COO and CFO; Michael Parham, SVP and General Counsel, departs after 20+ year career with the Company

SEATTLEMay 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- RealNetworks today officially announced the appointment of Chris Wheaton as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Chris joined Real in March and has spent the past three months learning about Real and its diverse, primarily AI-based businesses.   

Additionally, Real announced that Michael Parham, SVP and General Counsel, will depart on June 30, 2023 after a 20+ year career with the Company. For the past ten years, Michael has served as RealNetworks' General Counsel, most recently leading Real through its transition to private ownership under Real's founder and CEO Rob Glaser.

Going forward, all of Real's central G&A functions – Finance, IT, HR, and Legal, will now report directly to Chris Wheaton. Chris and Rob will partner with Real's four division leaders who lead and operate each of the Real Group's independent businesses. 

"I'm excited for Chris to join Real's leadership team," said Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of Real. "As we fully implement a leaner, faster-moving, and more decentralized operating plan, Chris is the perfect person to partner with me and the rest of Real's senior leadership team.  Our focus on AI-based innovation will be greatly enhanced by Chris's lucidity and steady hands."

"At the same time, I want to express my deep gratitude to Michael Parham for the spectacular work he has performed for over 20 years," Glaser continued. "Michael has been a crucial part of Real's leadership team for many years and is one of the finest executives I've ever worked with.  I'm grateful that he will continue to advise me and help lead the RealNetworks Foundation going forward." 

"RealNetworks is at a uniquely exciting moment in its long and important history," said Chris Wheaton. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to join Rob and the team to chart the next stage of the company's growth. We're well positioned to bring a new and valuable generation of RealNetworks products to market and I very much look forward to helping make those efforts successful."

"I am proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish during my tenure as General Counsel. After leading the process of taking the company private and charting a path for future success, I believe that now is the right time for me to explore a new challenge," said Michael Parham. "I have greatly enjoyed working with the team at RealNetworks including my colleagues and former directors. Rob has been an exceptional mentor and friend.  I deeply appreciate the support of my leadership roles in civic organizations, including serving as a co-founder of the Black Boardroom Initiative to help diversify corporate boards. I am excited to continue my long partnership with the Company by serving on the board of the RealNetworks Foundation following my departure."

Chris Wheaton comes to Real in an exciting period, just after the Company has returned to private ownership. His background in leading, funding, and growing diverse enterprises during times of significant change make him ideally suited to serve in such important executive roles at RealNetworks. Most recently, Chris spent four years as Chief Operating & Financial Officer at Bsquare Corporation, where he reversed the financial trajectory of the organization while instilling a more entrepreneurial and nimble corporate culture. Chris brings extensive executive experience to Real, having served as COO and CFO at a number of diverse organizations, including EnerG2 Technologies and Pacific Science Center in Seattle. He is a board member of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company, and holds an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

About RealNetworks

Building on a rich history of digital media expertise and innovation, RealNetworks has created a new generation of products that employ best-in-class artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance and secure our daily lives. Real's portfolio includes: SAFR, the world's premier computer vision platform for live video; KONTXT, an industry leading NLP (Natural Language Processing) platform for text and multimedia analysis; and GameHouse, a mobile games business focused on making great games for women.  For information about all of our products, visit

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Media Contact:

Lisa Amore of AMORE PR for RealNetworks.; 206-954-8006