Some time between August 11th and August 19th, Linden Lab quietly slipped out a biography of their new Vice President of Operations, who has come aboard to take up the post vacated by Oz Linden at the end of February, when he retired from business after over a decade with Linden Lab.
The new VP of Engineering is Andrew Kertesz, a 20-year veteran of the gaming industry, who joined Linden Lab at the end of July 2021 from Level Ex Inc., a company creating “industry-leading medical video games that challenge physicians to perform at the top of their game”, and where he served as Principal Software Engineer / Principal Engineering Manager for a period of just over year.
The official biography for Mr. Kertesz posted by the Lab (and accessed via the About Linden Lab page on their corporate website) reads as follows:
WITH OVER TWENTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE GAMES INDUSTRY, ANDREW IS AN EXPERT AT BUILDING TEAMS AND LAUNCHING GROUND-BREAKING GAMES ACROSS GENRES THAT PUSH THE LIMITS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE PLATFORMS. HIS PRODUCT AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE SPANS ACROSS MULTIPLE MOBILE, PC AND CONSOLE GAMES, AS WELL AS PLATFORM AND SDK DEVELOPMENT, WEB APPLICATIONS AND CLOUD SERVICES.
PRIOR TO JOINING LINDEN LAB, ANDREW HELD SENIOR-LEVEL POSITIONS AT LEVEL EX, ZUME, DOUBLEDOWN INTERACTIVE, IGT, AND MICROSOFT. ANDREW HAS WORKED ON ICONIC FRANCHISES SUCH AS HALO, FORZA, MOTORSPORT, FABLE, CRACKDOWN, AND WHEEL OF FORTUNE. ANDREW HAS A DEGREE IN COMPUTER ENGINEERING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON.
Like Oz Linden before him, Mr. Kertesz – who has taken the name of Mojo Linden – will have overall responsibility for managing both the viewer and the simulator engineering teams at the Lab.
As noted in his biography, he comes to the Lab with extensive experience in a range of games development environments, and perhaps most interestingly, he has experience in mobile app development and exposure in managing cloud-based services and applications, both of which are of considerable relevance to Linden Lab.
It is unclear whether he will be as directly hands-on as Oz Linden in terms of chairing in-world meetings such as the Open Source Developer and Third-Party Developer sessions – both of these were particularly within Oz’s sphere of interest, as he was originally brought into Linden Lab to manage the open-source side of viewer development, and so he directly formulated those meetings as we all came to know them. However, we will hopefully get to see Mojo active at least on occasion through the likes of these and sessions such as the Simulator User Group meetings over time. Currently, he’s likely focused on getting his feet firmly under the desk and getting up to speed on everything, and there will doubtless be other opportunities to get to meet him in the future beyond any of these particular meetings as well (Lab Gab, anyone?).
In the meantime, here are some relevant links.