Two weeks ago, 30-percent of the workforce behind the virtual realm Second Life was let go due to "reorganization." Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon claimed that the move was to help make Second Life even simpler, more enjoyable, relevant and engaging for consumers. He also said that the staff reduction would enable to company to invest more into bringing "3D to the web" and strengthen profitability.
Based on those claims, it sounds as if Second Life might get an overhaul and branch out, possibly to social networks and mobile apps. It's speculated that the layoffs were due to a lack of interest with the virtual world, a trend the company has apparently been watching for a while. Perhaps then it's no coincidence that Kingdon has decided to walk, leaving his two-year reign as CEO.
In his place will be former CEO and Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale. Former CFO Bob Komin was also moved up the ladder to fill the COO seat. "This is a big, tough change but one the board of directors and management team deeply believes in," Rosedale said. He tipped a hat to Kingdon's two-year trek into improving the overall stability of Second Life.
"Our thinking as a team is that my returning to the CEO job now can bring a product and technology focus that will help rapidly improve Second Life," Rosendale added. "We need to simplify and focus our product priorities--concentrating all our capabilities on making Second Life easier to use and better for the core experiences that it is delivering today. I think that I can be a great help and a strong leader in that process."
Before he left, Kingdon said that the company needed to bring Second Life to the browser as well as integrate social-networking features. Let's see if the new administration can make that happen.