I said a month ago that I was looking for a new CEO to lead Linden Lab, and we’ve found one! His name is Mark Kingdon, and his Second Life name is “M Linden”.
As you might imagine in a new leader of Linden Lab, there are lots of great things I could say about him, but let me just pick a few and then encourage you to meet him in-world. He is a person with the rare and unusual combination of business leadership, creativity, and passion for Second Life that we were looking for. In terms of history, he has a background in art, economics, and business. He has been in successful and highly regarded leadership roles at two companies that are bigger than Linden Lab: PricewaterhouseCoopers and Organic. He is a well-loved people leader who is fearless and can weather challenges and change.
He is going to start on May 15th. Like I said when we started looking, I am not going anywhere, and will be working with Mark to help lead Linden and Second Life onward. I am really looking forward to working with him, as he has so many skills and capabilities that will help us and that I can also learn from – here are a few: He will have an intense focus on improving the in-world experience and stability and reliability of Second Life. He has extensive hands-on experience with user experience design, which will be critical in making Second Life an easier and better experience for more people. Finally, he has a ton of experience leading companies and products with global reach, which is now essential given that the great majority of Second Life usage is international and Linden Lab will continue to grow as an international company with offices in many locations.
I have to say I am also really happy at how we found Mark. We decided to talk in public about searching for a new CEO because we thought it was the right thing to do, but of course we were concerned that it was unusual for a company to talk about such a change before finding the right person. Generally, recruiting executive people involves lots of work in creating lists of potential candidates and calling out to them.
But I always also hoped that with our public message out there, maybe the right person would actually just come to us. The intersection of people who would hear that news, have the right skills, and also be passionate enough about Second Life to pick up the phone and call me and ask for the job – well that is a very small list. But I thought maybe it would happen and turn out to be the perfect person. It was!
We will schedule a series of inworld meetings in the coming weeks where folks can get a chance to meet and talk to him and me together.