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I worked at RealNetworks full-time (More than 8 years)Doesn't RecommendNegative OutlookDoesn't RecommendNegative Outlook
Everyone working at RealNetworks below an executive level is great to work with. RealNetworks has a great history of hiring friendly and hard working people for many of its available jobs. The atmosphere recently switched to an open office style, and that has greatly helped to bring teams together and open communication. Despite constant re-orgs, the teams still continue to excel despite constantly changing product requests and direction.
Almost everyone at an executive level and up is incompetent and completely closed to advice or criticism. Everyone below is open and freely communicates and works together on projects, but all the executives and up still follow a strict waterfall methodology. They are not open to even creative or constructive criticism, and are often outright aggressive if you bring up a disagreement (even in a constructive and positive manner). The CEO and founder, Rob Glaser, runs the company like it's his own little playground. He no longer has any sense of the industry or what users want, but still makes decisions on huge components without and forethought or insight on the outcome. He, as well as the board of directors and product visionary, frequently make low level decisions against informed advice, then flip those decisions on a whim before even releasing the product. Much time and resources get wasted on ill advised features which end up getting removed before release anyways. The company has been on a downward slope for years now and continues to make poor decisions due to the CEO, board of directors, and a lack of true product/company focus. There have been regular layoffs for the last few years, without replacement hires, which leads to many people having to take on multiple roles. This leads to a stressed out environment and frequent low morale, plus a bleak outlook on the future of the company. It's never a good sign when people would rather be laid off so that they can at least get a severance package before the company closes it's doors.
Advice to Management
Listen to users, push back on the executives, push back with Rob and the board of directors. They are seemingly untrained and ineffectual in practically everything they do, they need someone to tell them no and stand by that. They need educated advice on what direction to take the product and the company because they clearly don't know themselves.