Second Life CEO Walks After Recent Layoffs

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.

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  • LePhuronn
    Second Life really needs to die. It was quirky and interesting when it first started, but was a solution looking for a problem. Then corporate types latched on to it and played with interesting things (like Adobe streaming live launch events to their Second Life location), but that bubble burst pretty quickly.

    Now it's just yet another hangout for cybersex and sad, lonely people.

    Kill it, kill it with fire.
  • proletarian
    i agree with LePhurron.

    Though i've never played it, i've seen trailers and screenshots and a "feel good" segment on ITV's (cancelled) Richard & Judy show in which two ugly people met through Second Life, ditched their respective partners and want off together to bump uglies (after, obviously, virtually beating meat and bean flicking for the months before they met).

    I therefore request and require that second life is killed, killed with fire.
  • jemm
    Second Life's New CEO is Rod Humble. According to SL Blog, Humble "as a 20-year veteran of game development, he’s worked on more than 200 games, and last year, the gaming magazine Edge named him #2 on their annual list of Hot 100 Game Developers. Rod is coming to Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where he was Executive Vice President and led EA Play, including the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. Prior to EA, he was a VP of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment, where he led the EverQuest Studio."