New World Notes published a story today about unconfirmed rumors that M. Linden (Mark Kingdon) may soon be replaced as the head of Linden Labs by Phillip Linden (Phillip Rosedale), the former head of Linden Labs and its founder. At the moment, all of this is rumor and speculation, but he SecondLife rumor machine is abuzz at the idea.
The rumors started after Phillip Linden's (Rosedale) speech at the SecondLife 7th Birthday celebration where he apologized for the mistakes made by Linden Labs management and promised users that the company will do better in the future, sounding more like someone who was actively involved in the management of the company than someone who was out of the loop.
Then, the rumors kicked in to high gear when M Linden (Kingdon), also scheduled to speak a the SL7B event, canceled his appearance at the last minute, due to an unexpected "emergency" of a non-specific nature leading to Rosedale giving a second impromptu speech in his place.
None of this may be true and there may be zero top management changes in store at Linden Labs.
M. Linden's tenure as the head of Linden Labs hasn't been terribly popular among the users of SecondLife, culminating in (and perhaps contributing to) their utter rejection of the 2.0 viewer developed under his leadership, despite it's several cool features.
Contrarily, Phillip Linden has achieved almost legendary status among the users of SecondLife since he left an active role in the company two years ago. Repeatedly, users compared Rosedale's departure to the departure of Steve Jobs from Apple, so the rumors of his return may be based more on their perceived similarity to Jobs than on any real events at Linden Labs.
UPDATE: Phillip Linden confirms his return as CEO on the SL Blog
Rosedale's speech from the SL7B event, and it certainly seemed to me like someone who intended to have (or hoped for) a significant hand in the direction of the companies future. If Rosedale does return as the head of SecondLife, it could lead to a much more optimistic outlook within the community, which, at the moment, is anything but. Bringing back its founder was a very successful move for Apple, maybe a similar decision at Linden Labs will be as successful.
UPDATE: The following user-created video suggests a humorous explanation of why M Linden missed his speech and Phillip Linden filled in.
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