Robert ‘Rob Glaser’ is an American businessman who was born in New York City on January 16, 1962. He is best known as the founder of RealNetworks, which produces a range of products and services, including RealAudio, RealPlayer, RealVideo, and Helix. He founded this company in 1994. Glaser is also known for being one of the partners at global venture firm Accel Partners, a position which he held since 2010. This venture firm focuses on mobile services, social media, and digital media technology investments. Although Glaser is well-known in business circles, there are many things that people do not know about this business executive. Here are 10 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about Rob Glaser.
1. He Has a Degree and an MA
After leaving school, Rob Glaser studied at Yale University. He graduated with a BS degree in computer science. He then went on to complete his MA in economics. These subjects gave him good foundations for a career as a business executive in the technology sector.
2. Glaser Began His Career at Microsoft
Once he had completed his studies, Rob Glaser began his career when he landed a job at Microsoft in 1984. He worked there for 10 years in a variety of positions. As a result of working for Microsoft, Glaser became a millionaire. It also gave him the necessary business experience to found his own successful company.
3. He Has Founded Charitable Organisations
Although Rob Glaser is very business and profit-minded, he is also a very charitable person. He co-founded the Access Project with public health expert Josh Ruxin and economist Jeffrey Sachs. This is an NGO that aims to improve Rwandan healthcare by increasing the capacity of management in health centers, Glaser also founded the Glaser Progress Foundation in 1999. The purpose of this foundation is to build a more humane, sustainable, and just world.
4. His Estimated Net Worth is $26 Million
Rob Glaser’s personal net worth has fluctuated significantly over the years depending on his business activities. According to Wallmine, his estimated personal net worth was at least $26 million in February 2019. One of the main contributors to his personal net worth is his annual salary as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at RealNetworks, which is around $1.52 million a year. It is estimated that he owns more than 56,000 units of RealNetworks stock. He has also accrued this net worth because of his previous business activities, including working for Microsoft.
5. He Has Invested in Restaurants
Restaurants are a world away from Rob Glaser’s main business interests, yet he has found the business potential of two restaurants compelling enough to make an investment. According to GeekWire, he invested in a restaurant called Little Fish in 2017. The concept for the restaurant was based on using canned seafood, which is popular in many European countries. The plan was to begin by canning their own seafood to create a series of products that are also used in their restaurants. In the past, Glaser also invested in a restaurant called Wild Ginger.
6. He is a Supporter of the Democratic Party
Rob Glaser is a long-time supporter of the Democratic party, and he has always been open about his political stance. In fact, he donated $2.2 million to pro-Democratic organizations during the 2004 US election. This made him the 22nd largest individual donor to the political party. During the election process, he had donated to 527 groups.
7. He Has Been Married Three Times
Glaser has been married three times. Very little is known about his first marriage, as this took place at a time when he was not in the business limelight. He married his second wife, Sarah Block, in 2000. Unfortunately, the marriage was short-lived, and they divorced. In 2004, he married his third wife Cori Durant. The couple now has twins together and they live in a waterfront mansion in Seattle. In general, Glaser keeps his family and private life out of the public eye,
8. He Sold His Seattle Apartment for a $5.75 Million Profit in 2009
In 1998, Rob Glaser bought a Seattle apartment for $4 million, says Biz Journals. The apartment boasted three bedrooms, an infinity pool, and views across Elliott Bay and the city. In 2009, he sold the property for $9.75 million, although the original listing price was $12 million but had dropped due to a slow market. The move was triggered by the need for more space to accommodate his growing twins. He did not move too far away from his luxury apartment, as he has remained in Seattle and now lives in a family mansion.
9. He Had Professional Differences with Tony Fadell
When Rob Glaser founded RealNetworks in 1994, he took on engineer and inventor Tony Fadell as one of the leading forces in taking the company forward. Their brief time working together did not go well as they had many professional differences. Unfortunately, Glaser and Fadell had such a turbulent relationship that Fadell had left the company within six weeks. Fadell went on to develop products for Apple and is now known as the Godfather of the iPhone and iPod. Tony Fadell is also known as the founder of Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google in 2016 for $3.2 billion. Therefore, both men have gone on to do well for themselves despite their professional differences.
10. He Has Won an Award
Rob Glaser won the United Jewish Appeal Music Visionary Award on June 16, 2004. He won this award alongside EMI Vice Chairman David Munns, from the Music Youth Foundation. The United Jewish Appeal aims to support Jewish communities in the United States and elsewhere in the world. The Music Visionary Awards are just one of the events that this organization hosts.