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Summary:

Four months after CEO Mark Kingdon left the San Francisco-based Linden Labs — the company behind once hot virtual world, Second Life — interim CEO and founder Phil Rosedale is leaving the company to work on his new company, LoveMachine, which is working on collaboration software.

Philip Rosedale, Web 2.0 Conference

Four months after CEO Mark Kingdon left the San Francisco-based Linden Lab — the company behind erstwhile hot virtual world Second Life — interim CEO and founder Philip Rosedale is getting real too. He is leaving the company he started in 1999 in order to pursue his new idea – LoveMachine, a collaboration software company. In a message to the Second Life community, he wrote:

After about four months as interim CEO, working closely with Bob Komin, the management team, and the board, we’ve decided we are ready to start the search for a new CEO. I’ll be leaving day-to-day management of the company and continuing in my role on the board, including helping in the search to find a great CEO. I will also be continuing my work with my new company, LoveMachine. Bob will lead Linden Lab while we conduct the search. It’s been an intense few months of transition, and we all feel like we are in a better place now, with a clearer sense of direction and more focus, and are ready to bring someone new into the mix as a leader.

Second Life was one of the hottest virtual worlds during the early part of the decade, but its fortunes have slumped over past few years as it has started to lose attention to newer virtual environments and other shinier distractions. It would be tough for the company to regain its former glory and perhaps that is a good enough reason for its founder to move on to newer  pastures.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (subscription req’d):

Photo of Philip Rosedale courtesy of Wikipedia

  1. Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.

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      1. … I don’t get it.

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  2. It’d be interesting to hear a state of the state for Second Life and virtual worlds. I remember when my roommate in college was playing Second Life with 50 other folks back in 2004. It’s obviously come a long way since then and has gotten popular with a certain community but it’d be interesting to hear about its vision for the future. Where are virtual worlds going? What are they going to do cross the chasm into the mainstream?

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  3. I think the key word that is missing here is “again”.

    Rosedale did the same thing almost exactly one year ago.

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  4. [...] via Oh! Oh! Even Linden Lab Founder Is Leaving: Tech News «. [...]

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  5. I love how brief (yet informative) your articles are. SL was way to advanced for the hardware… but they paved the way and will always be in the tech annals of pioneering online apps.

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  6. why don’t you guys have Facebook and/or Disqus comment systems available?

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  7. Tobe completely honest with everyone, Secondlife has fallen far from it’s former status. With constant changes in the day-to-day management, and the recent layoffs (30% of LL staff were dismissed) add on to of that the fact that LL has outsourced it’s support in such a way, that support doesn’t have the power to actually support anything other than password changes and billing inquiries. I feel secondlife has seen it’s days of glory come and go.

    Recently one of my friends decided to check out secondlife to see what all the hub-bub was about, and within 2 hours his account had received a warning e-mail about sandbox usage, and then couldn’t log into the game the next day. after almost a month of trying to resolve the issue via secondlife support, he was finally informed he needed to fax a copy of his drivers license to get his account restored, doing this, he waited a couple of weeks, then spent yet another month trying to contact LL directly because he had been informed by secondlife support that they could not alter any information on his account, nor are they able to directly contact LL in any support related maters.

    While i applaud my friend for being so patient, i myself see this as a major obstacle to any sort of ” resurrection ” LL may or may not be planning.

    Also, the interest from LL to keep the game functional / running may be a minimalistic effort on their part with recent rumors of LL trying to sell off the dying game to such companies as Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft (Microsoft being the only company to acknowledge the bid requests from LL)

    Also to note, is the tier pricing which is ostentatiously high based on the current downward spiral of sales.

    When all of this gets tallied, Second Life is more than likely going to die a slow agonizing death due to mismanagement, over pricing, and a growing amount of unsatisfied consumers due to lack of proper timely product support.

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  8. I see “leaving day-to-day management” to Komin, but I don’t see “Leaving Linden Lab”. In fact, I even see “continuing in my role on the board”.

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    1. Mistletoe, he’s not leaving Linden Lab, he is leaving the CEO position. “After about four months as interim CEO”, i.e. it’s changing now, “we are ready to start the search for a new CEO”, “Bob will lead Linden Lab” (as interim CEO, until a permanent one is found). “It’s been an intense few months of transition” (to Bob as the new interim CEO while we search for a new permanent CEO).

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  9. His account has been “disabled” though. This adds an interesting nuance to the narrative…

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    1. On Philip Linden’s profile: ” Blame it all on me. :) ”

      http://world.secondlife.com/resident/a2e76fcd-9360-4f6d-a924-000000000003

      .)

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