Rod Humble has left his post as the chief executive of Linden Lab, the company that created the Second Life virtual world.
In a Facebook update, Humble said, “It’s been a great 3 years! All my thanks to my colleagues at Linden Lab and our wonderful customers. I wish you the very best for the future and continued success! I am starting up a company to make Art, Entertainment, and unusual things! More on that in a few weeks.”
Humble, the former head of The Sims business at Electronic Arts, took the top job at San Francisco-based Linden Lab in 2010. At the time, virtual worlds were waning as social networks were exploding. People stopped hanging out in 3D animated worlds, and Second Life’s growth had stalled. He replaced Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, after Rosedale stepped in again to replace previous CEO Mark Kingdon.
In interviews, Humble said his strategy was to use the lucrative revenues from Second Life to build new magical experiences outside of the virtual world. His team created Minecraft-like creativity apps for the iPad and the web. Humble called these apps “shared creative spaces.”
Those apps received a lot of praise, but it’s unclear whether they have been enough to create a new business for Linden Lab.