Second Life News : Wanted: CEO for Linden Labs – Must Love People

March 23rd, 2008  |  Published in Second Life News  |  2 Comments

Second Life Business Reporter, Sigmund Leominster

By Sigmund Leominster

In an interview with Reuters last Thursday 20th March, the recently resigned CEO of Linden Labs, Philip Rosedale, announced that they will be looking outside the company for their new CEO. What is significant is that he has also issued a carte blanche for the new hire to make changes to the corporate culture.

And according to Reuters, the company wants “to find someone who’s had experience growing a small company into a global player.” This is a clear indication of the next phase on Linden Labs’ development.

One of the factors than can stifle the growth on any company is becoming hostage to its own “culture.” Growth requires change, and change requires new perspectives. This is what an outside CEO can offer. Clearly Linden Labs want to switch into a more aggressive growth mode and the task needs someone with a proven record of enabling this.

This is a good way for Rosedale to handle what is typically called the “founder’s dilemma.” According to Norm Wasserman, author of “The Founder’s Dilemma” (Harvard Business Review, February 2008), “Most entrepreneurs want to make a lot of money and to run the show. New research shows that it’s tough to do both. If you don’t figure out which matters more to you, you could end up being neither rich nor king.”

Rosedale has clearly decided not to be king and opted for offering the crown to a more seasoned corporate player, something that actually takes a bit of business courage to do. Admitting your own limitations is a hard thing to do and Rosedale appears to have done that.

Changing CEO doesn’t necessarily mean the wholesale sloughing of a corporate culture. There will still be a place for Fancy Dress Day, Christmas bacchanalias, and pizza parties. But to sustain that culture still requires attention to sales and growth, for without these you’re faced with the simple option to “close up shop” and go beach-combing.

The new CEO has no simple task ahead. With the current growth rate in terms of SL residents seemingly leveling out, and dissatisfied people leaving, restoring confidence is a priority. Then comes the task of addressing the consumer issues of network stability, in-world copyright protection, land fees, and a host of other factors that can make the SL experience less than stellar.

If you’re thinking of applying for the post, Rosedale says that he is looking for someone who is “already a passionate user of Second Life. They also have to be ‘a great coach’ who will work well with Linden’s staff. And they have to have complementary skill sets to mine because I’m staying and will still be involved.” Rosedale also wants someone who has experience working in a global information technology market.


  1. Mony Markova says:

    March 27th, 2008at 10:43 am(#)

    Whats the pay?

    This is most amazing topic and propably highest interest story happening in our community nowadays.

    I think LL is too scared about people leaving, or deserting, etc, or “time spent connected” I think they have been fooled by their own statistics! I dont think you need to be 24/7 connected to have a great experience and to help harness the nowadays “Barbie Economy” into a real business platform, along other SL challenges that we have commented in other forums. One traditional key to higher griowth is accelerated expansion into world markets.

    Since I been here 5 months ago I used to see about 34,000 connected now its almost double that figure, which makes me wonder what they think is wrong with growth? I will tell you why people leaves… SL is just not for everyone. Some people are too busy also. For instance a 20-29 years old mother with small kids and a home business will NOT have the time or attention to be here, it is just not there. Many situations are like that.

    The more I have learned of the platform and the technology behind the more appreciative I become of the work those guys do, they will never be appreciated, hire a teraphist along the CEO to help LL employees cope with rejection and citizen dissatisfaction. Still deep down know you do a great job and this is a new frontier. Also pay them well please.

    What was thet the quote? “What is your economic engine? + What is what u can make better than others + What drives your passion? by From Good to Great, Jim Collins

    Thanks Sig!

    And yes I called SL current economy a “Barbie Economy”

  2. ChanelFoxx says:

    November 16th, 2008at 2:27 am(#)

    Is this serious? Hiring a CEO outside of the company?

    Way to empower and recognize the workers you already have. You think you’re going to fine someone who will “work well with the staff”? Why would any of the staff want a boss who gets to just waltz himself into the dream job?

    Stick with your staff and hire from WITHIN!

    And some advice for improving their statistics for people who leave, there will always be those individuals who are simply not going to enjoy the “game”. I think some reasons people leave are:

    -Mature Content
    -Too advanced
    -Money needed to purchase things
    -Language barriors
    -Lag…too many people! You may need to develop a whole new country or world and block off or limit the size of your main one.
    -Minimum Requirements
    …many more.

    You should get a marketing team together and have them concentrate on ways to improve SL without losing all of your current staff by not hiring within.

    And I am not apart of the staff…I’m just expressing my opinons on the matter.

    ChanelFoxx Dezno