I don’t usually post much on major events within Second Life, mainly because I usually find out about them too late, by which time everyone else under the sun has already blogged it, and you’re sick of reading about it.
But I do want to say something about yesterday’s announcement that Mark Kingdon has stepped down as CEO of Linden Lab, and Philip Rosedale is back in the hot seat (at least for the interim). I understand that he’s going to be working closely with Bob Komin (whoever that is).
My first thought is that I am initially very happy about this. Morale amongst residents is at what is probably an all-time low, and people are quitting left, right and centre. Many of the projects that M Linden has wasted money on have been either an utter failure (Avaline, Avatars United), or have been strongly resisted by residents (Zindra, XStreet purchase, Viewer 2) and to many people all he’s done is just waste money with no return – with the possibly inevitable consequence of having to sack 30% of their staff in order to make up for it. It’s been clear from the beginning that Kingdon had no real interest in the product other than as a way of making money.
Philip is different. Second Life is his baby, he gave birth to it, and nurtured it. Residents are going to see in him a person who, they believe, will not let Second Life die, and in the immediate future I think we’re going to see an upswing of morale amongst residents. There was even, so I gather, an impromptu parade in Bay City in his honour yesterday afternoon.
Me, I’m not quite dancing in the streets but I am cautiously hopeful. I’m glad to see the back of M Linden, and I don’t think that SL would have survived another 12 months with him in charge. With Philip at the helm I think survival hopes are higher because I believe he’ll fight tooth and nail to keep the grid going no matter what.
But, the reason he stepped down last time was because he’s basically a hippy with absolutely no business sense whatsoever. SL might be his baby, but by the time it grew into a stroppy adolescent, he couldn’t handle it and unless someone’s given him a brain transplant in the last 2 years, that’s not changed. What SHOULD have happened 2 years ago, was that Philip remained the frontman but appointed a business manager to deal with all the nasty numbers and stuff that Philip doesn’t want to handle.
Hopfully this is where the mysterious Bob Komin comes in, as he’s been promoted to Chief Operations Officer. In any case, Philip says he’s returning only as an interim CEO, so presumably they’ll look for someone else (although I would be honestly surprised if anyone else is crazy enough to take it on as things are at the moment – so I think it may be a long interim).
Time will tell, and I would like to know more about this Bob Komin fellow and his history.