Pellegrini has been named President of the company’s Mobile Entertainment division, which delivers ring-back tone and other mobile entertainment services to carriers and device manufacturers worldwide. Under Pellegrini, RealNetworks will continue to grow its carrier services, and also create new smartphone-based consumer services. Pellegrini succeeds Mike Lunsford, who is leaving the company. Lunsford was with RealNetworks for five years, most recently as EVP/Real’s Mobile Entertainment (formerly SaaS) division.
“Max is a widely respected leader in mobile entertainment who has built innovative businesses in the U.S. and Europe for over a dozen years,” said Rob Glaser, Founder, Chairman and Interim CEO of RealNetworks. “Max comes on board to both guide the growth of our longstanding carrier-based business, and lead development of new, innovative services focused on directly meeting consumer needs.”
Pellegrini is the former Chairman and CEO of Dada.net, which was a leading premium mobile web company in North America. He joined Dada in Italy in 2000, and started the company’s U.S. operation in 2005. In 2011, Dada was acquired by mobile entertainment leader Buongiorno S.p.A, which was in turn acquired by NTT DOCOMO in 2012.
RealNetworks’ Mobile Entertainment division provides services to over 27 million mobile subscribers worldwide. Through partnerships with tier-one carriers like SK Telecom, T-Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone, the company delivers ring-back tones, ring tones, and music on demand. The division also runs intercarrier messaging (ICM) services in partnership with Syniverse.