Second Life

New CEO Appointed at Linden Lab

The search for a new CEO is over as Linden Lab announced the appointment of Mark Kingdon to the position, and residents watched for smoke in the upper window and the choosing of a name, much like the anointing of a Pope, it’s just too bad he’s, well, M Linden, I rather like Marcus Voom (who mysteriously I believe is on my friend’s list, must have been that beach party with the 8 foot avatar dressed as a, um…I digress).

Mark, or M, who is expected to soon name Kate Linden Agent 005 Linden and Sidewinder will become 006 Linden, with Philip Rosedale becoming 007, which is the same as Chair, murmured the right noises in his interview with Reuters about the failures of big brands in 2007:

“Maybe it was the right place but definitely the wrong time for most big brands,” Kingdon said. “I’d like to see a continuation and even acceleration of the incredible in-world development we’ve seen from engaged, highly participative residents. that will create the richness of experience and vibrant economy that’s so important. If there are companies that can participate in the organic growth of Second Life, it’s a great place for them.”

His lack of hands on IT capabilities might have the coders squirming but let’s face it, while the grid isn’t stable the position is far less about the code and far more about articulating strategy and direction. He’s not about to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but you can read a lot into his promise that while respecting the “quirky culture” of Second Life, saying:

“But, I also believe that in highly creative, innovative cultures, that people have to be voluntarily aligned with a direction. As much as possible it’s essential that they choose their focus.”

Which also means, for those of you less in tune to corporate speak: “You can voluntarily buy into the direction or you can LEAVE.”

Which is a sign that some chopping block days are upon us, kids. And please remember to vote Sidewinder on the JIRA.

Over on the Second Life blog, Philip spilled out the praise for the first paragraph or two, and then seemed to navel gaze a little on the public process of selecting Mark. And again, a few code words to keep an eye on (emphasis to draw your attention):

He is a person with the rare and unusual combination of business leadership, creativity, and passion for Second Life that we were looking for. In terms of history, he has a background in art, economics, and business. He has been in successful and highly regarded leadership roles at two companies that are bigger than Linden Lab: PricewaterhouseCoopers and Organic. He is a well-loved people leader who is fearless and can weather challenges and change.

Having said all that, someone with operational experience who can let Philip do his vision thing is a welcome addition to Linden Lab, and I wish him luck, a thick skin, and a heavy dose of creative passion.


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