Friday, 14 March 2008

Rosedale to Step Down, Step Up, Whatever

The twitter servers must be under heavy load at the moment as hordes of virtual worlders leap in to speculate about today's announcement that Phil Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, will be stepping down from his role.

According to Reuters: "Rosedale will become chairman of the Linden Lab board when his successor is found, replacing Mitch Kapor, who will remain a board member and the company’s largest investor. Rosedale said he will also keep a full-time role at the company working on product development and strategy."

There doesn't seem to be any air of panic, just the recognition that a big, grown-up company (which Linden Lab has now become) requires an entirely different sort of leadership from a hip, young start-up. I made this point (as many others did) when Cory Ondrejka left Linden Lab at the tail end of last year: "once you have a large (and largely successful) implementation on your hands, your focus shifts from rapid innovation and heads more towards Quality of Service and effective service delivery. "

Provided they get the right person - and that's a big proviso - then this should be a good thing for consumers of Linden Lab's services - that's us residents, both private and corporate. Hopefully, we will continue to see innovation and creativity from the Lab, after all Mr Rosedale is only moving within the outfit, but tempered with the skills needed to deliver a customer-centric, high quality service. Well... I can hope, can't I?

Incidentally, I hope that his replacement does NOT succumb to the temptation to pimp his/her avatar - and sticks resolutely to the no-prim hair etc.

UPDATE: Or indeed no-hair hair.

For a far better read than this - check out Mitch Wagner's post at Information Week.

UPDATE 2: Mr Rosedale's statement and resident responses on the Second Life blog.

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