Rod Humble departs the Lab

Update January 26th: My own look back at Rod Humble’s time at Linden Lab.

Update January 25th: Gamesbeat has caught-up with the news.

Update: Games industry has covered the news as well.

Update: The message on Rod Humble’s Facebook page confirming his departure from the Lab reads: “Its 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!”

Jo Yardley has posted that Rod Humble has apparently left Linden Lab. In a blog post she states:

In a personal message to me via facebook send a few minutes ago, Rod Humble told me that he has left Linden Lab as CEO last week.

After 3 years of running Linden Lab and bringing a lot of improvements to Second Life he resigned and is going to start up his own company that will make art, entertainment and all sorts of wonderful stuff.

It is not yet clear who will replace him but I wish him lots of success with his new project.

This news comes as a bit of a surprise and shock and there is no official announcement yet.

As noted in Jo’s post, there is no official announcement on the matter, but I have contacted the Lab in an attempt to gain further verification. I’ll provide an update should any reply be forthcoming. Even if confirmation is given, and there is no reason to doubt the veracity of Jo’s post, it is unlikely the circumstances behind his departure will enter the public domain

24 thoughts on “Rod Humble departs the Lab

    1. I’m not. Thhe recent track record of outward official communications isn’t that great, even if something like this is bound to reach ears. Mark Kingdon’s departure wasn’t confirmed until after the fact.


  1. We do hope folks call the Drax Files Radio Hour Skype line and leave a message: how do you feel about this announcement? We will discuss next week on a show tentatively entitled “The Sky Is Falling!”


    1. Rod used the platform. Not necessarily all the time or as “Rodvik Linden”. But that said, I’d rather the CEO was up front, running the company, rather than running around in-world :).

      I’ll be profiling his tenure in an upcoming blog post.


      1. I disagree:) I think a good CEO should use his product a fair amount of time, which would give him a much better understanding of the problems and therefore, the requests made by the users. How many times have we said, “if the big boys actually had to deal with this, they’d fix it!” Did he think the default “duck walk” was a way to impress newcomers? A few hours a week would have made him equally as frustrated. I’m not saying that Rod didn’t, so this is just a general comment.


        1. Theres a video a blogger did, showing the first experience a user has after installing the SL viewer. They rez into a welcome area – that is in darkness. Newb lost in the dark – great first impression :/
          LL could set the welcome sim to day full time – but they’d only know to do that IF they had tested the welcome sim by actually visiting it more than once.
          I had high hopes for Rodvik, specially since he started by building (unlike the previous CEO), but it soon became apparent – more broken promises (Steam coming soon…), more useless un-needed features (pathfinding anyone?), too many side projects, and increased insular corporate behaviour (we can’t mention any competing service in their forums, we can’t jira, they reject our requests for more communication, etc etc).
          LL had a business/pricing model that was growing too fast, so they quashed it with Homestead pricing, and have never looked at it again. What management does that?
          They sit on the cusp of a 3D revolution, with the biggest most diverse 3d world in their control, and seemingly are quite content to let it fade into oblivion.
          If Rodvik left of his own accord – he’s foolish and short sighted. If he left because pushed, then maybe we have a Board who is actually concerned about SL’s decline, and trying to do something about it.
          I hope it’s the latter.


        2. And yet, during Rod Humble’s tenure, the company has been embarked on the single biggest overhaul of Second Life since the platform opened its gates to the public, all in an attempt to address those root-and-branch problems users complain about the most: “lag”, stablility, perfromance, rezzing and rendering times, the inflexibility of the viewer (at least as far as the company could, given the monolithic nature of the viewer code). I won’t go into the full list here, as I’ll have more to say elsewhere :).

          And as for being in-world, again I’ll ask: how do you know whether or not any Linden Lab employee is or isn’t in-world? After all, just like us, they can use alts which don’t have the “Linden” tag – and in Rod Humble’s case, it was event from his own comments that he preferred being in-world via an alt because it gave him (unsurprisingly) a better means of interacting with others than if he arrived as his toga-wearing “official” self, or with the “Rodvik Linden” tag hanging over his head.

          We tend to take an awful lot for granted in SL; just because we do, doesn’t necessarily mean our assessments are correct…


          1. It must also be noted here that most of the lag is caused by the users – 1024×1024 textures on everything can hog down even a high-end workstation. And I’m sure that, even if SL supported procedural textures, people would still plaster huge roasters left, right and centre.


    1. Thanks for the note on NWN. I had the text of his FB message passed on to me earlier and dropped it into this post.


      1. Your welcome, yeah I am surprised too that there was no announcement on the official SL blog, Facebook or Twitter etc on Rod leaving. It seem to go unnoticed during the past week until today.

        Rod’s name has now officially been removed from the Linden Lab leadership page. 😦


  2. Disappointing that he’s left, I know he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but personally I felt he did a great job for Linden Lab, he extended their empire, made them a company known for more than Second Life and definitely got it about the issue of identities. I wish him all the best.


  3. I do find myself wondering just what a CEO does, when they can leave and nobody in the business seems to notice.


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