Blog Post

Second Life: Founder Phil Rosedale is Out as CEO

Another day, another dollar, and the hottest topic in the founders-sphere is still this one:

When should you hire a pro-CEO?

We’ve shared with you some lessons from Second Life founder, Phil Rosedale (How Second Life found its 2nd wind). This week our colleague Chris Albrecht interviewed Rosedale for the GigaOM show.

Watch it, and importantly, as you’re doing so, keep in mind that Rosedale stepped down as CEO of parent company Linden Labs today.

From Reuters:

Linden Lab[s] said on Friday it has begun a search to replace founder Philip Rosedale with a chief executive who has more management expertise, following a time-honored start-up tradition.

Even for very successful founders, this is a step you’ll likely have to take to keep your company growing and your dream alive. The ins and outs of running/operating a big organization are not the best job for a founder.

Remember founders : your aspiration is not to be an “executive”.

But replacing yourself as CEO doesn’t have to be the end! Contrary to a popular founders’ misconception, you don’t have to “give up your baby”:

Rosedale said in an interview:
“This is my life’s work,” he told Reuters in a phone interview. “I’m not going anywhere, and I’m still full-time on this, probably for the rest of my life.”

As chairman of the company, Rosedale will focus now on product development and strategy, two tasks probably much better-suited to his skill set — or that of any founder, for that matter.

For more on when and how to hire a pro-CEO:
* How One Founder Found the Right CEO

Don’t be afraid of the Pro CEO

2 Responses to “Second Life: Founder Phil Rosedale is Out as CEO”

  1. I agree when you say, ‘Even for very successful founders, this is a step you’ll likely have to take to keep your company growing and your dream alive.’

    It takes guts for a founding visionary entrepreneur to step aside and hand the reigns over to another. Ultimately the vision has to be more important than any individual, even the source of that vision. Of course the key now is getting just the right CEO. As a CEO myself (and no I won’t be putting my hand up!) my advice is to find someone who is not so much a visionary as a strategist. More of an organizational and strategic technician. The key to scaling an organization is in the deployment of resources: in particular creating the right environment and structures ready to meet the planned growth. So for me, I.T expertise is minor to this, what they need is a first class strategist.