TALK ABOUT A SHOCKER! This literally made me do a double take at my RSS feed!
Linden Lab CEO to step down
By BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Business Writer
1 hour, 1 minute ago
NEW YORK – Philip Rosedale, founder and chief executive of “Second Life” creator Linden Lab, is stepping down and will become chairman once a replacement is found, the company said Friday.
“My passion for ‘Second Life’ is undiminished, and this appointment will enable me to be more closely involved in the evolution of the company’s products,” Rosedale said in a statement.
In the virtual world of “Second Life,” users create avatars of themselves that live, work and play in its 3-dimensional landscape. Many users make and spend real money on land, clothes, real estate and even weapons they use in the virtual world.
The online community has attracted real-life businesses too, but some have had to grapple with virtual vandals messing with their 3-D storefronts. And while “Second Life” has nearly 13 million users, only a fraction of them log in regularly.
Rosedale, who built his first computer when he was in fourth grade and started a software company in high school, served as the vice president and chief technology officer of RealNetworks before founding Linden Lab.
He was not available to comment Friday but said in a blog post that, as the company grows, the role of its CEO will increasingly be to expand its work force.