Rob Glaser has landed at his next gig, relatively quickly. He is joining one of the bluechip VC firms Accel Partners, as a Venture Partner, focusing on digital media technology, social media, and mobile service investments. He will remain at his homebase in Seattle, and will surely be looking at the startups based there. (He elaborated on his interests in an interview with Staci; see below.)
Glaser was at RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) for 16 years, before he stepped down as CEO in January this year, though he still remains the chairman there. Accel has a long history with Glaser: they invested about $6 million in his then-called Progressive Networks in 1995, a year after he founded it.
Glaser as a VC would be a very interesting ride to watch. He hasn’t been the easiest of bosses to work for over the years, as has been well documented, and has been more than hands-on over his time at Real, so being a VC would require lot more patience than he has been used to in the past. Real was always an early adopter and pioneer in different digital sectors, even if Glaser’s long-term execution record was mixed. He also has a big picture view of the digital media industry, having dabbled in almost all possible sub-categories over the years. And you certainly can’t accuse of him of not trying to take on big media and entertainment, as evidenced by his legal fights over the years; disruption as a VC would serve him well.
He told PEHub that he will not work Accel full time. “I