Speaking at the Meet the Lindens series at SL12B on Thursday, June 25th, Danger Linden (Don Laabs), Senior Director of Product, Virtual Worlds indicated that, having been running both Second Life and the Lab’s next generation virtual worlds platform (code-named Project Sansar) had relinquished management of the latter to his boss – Bjorn Linden (Bjorn Laurin), the Lab’s (relatively speaking) new Vice President of Product.
Mr. Laurin’s appointment slipped in somewhat under the radar around the end of March, 2015, most likely at the end of March / beginning of April. His official bio at the Lab reads:
Bjorn Laurin serves as the VP of Product for Linden Lab, and to that role he brings more than a decade of Web, mobile, and social networking industry experience. Prior to joining Linden Lab, Bjorn held several high-level management positions at MySpace and Yahoo!. His previous roles include VP and General Manager of Mobile at Myspace, VP of Product for Tagged, and VP of Product for Peel.
Before that, he was Director of Mobile for Yahoo!, where he launched the company’s first mobile advertising solution in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Bjorn studied Economics and Social Geography at the Universities of Uppsala and Stockholm, Sweden.
Mr. Laurin’s time at Yahoo! spans almost a decade, during which he worked in Sweden, the UK and the USA. He was at Myspace for some 3 years, with a year-long stint at Fox Interactive Media between the two.
That Mr. Laurin has such an in-depth and extensive background in mobile technology and services may have some Second Life users questioning his appointment on the grounds that “he has no experience” with virtual worlds. While the latter may be true, the Lab does have plenty of experience with virtual worlds, and Mr. Laurin has a lot of experience in product development and delivery, and in management – all of which would appear to be ideal qualifications for the role at the Lab.
Furthermore, it’s worth remembering that the Lab’s next generation platform is designed to be accessible through multiple means and services – of which, mobile will be a central part (it is, after all, something Second Life users have been wanting), ergo, having someone with the knowledge and experience on managing mobile related projects in a senior position at the Lab makes a lot of sense.
So, a belated welcome to Mr. Laurin from those of us in Second Life, and a quick note to say I’ll have more on Project Sansar in an upcoming article.