Linden Lab, creator of the virtual world Second Life, announced today the appointments of Brian Michon, formerly VP of Engineering at Intuit, as Vice President of Core Development and Judy Wade, formerly a partner at McKinsey & Co., as Vice President of Strategy and Emerging Business.
Both will report directly to Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon.
Michon will lead Linden Lab's core engineering team responsible for the hosted services and virtual world platform that power Second Life, and is tasked with scaling Second Life to provide a high-quality user experience, supporting the growth in virtual worlds and evolving the platform to ignite a new wave of product innovation.
Wade will advise on Linden Lab's overall business strategy, including acquisitions and partnerships, and will identify new opportunities to grow the business in key vertical and geographic markets.
Linden Lab has been focused on further expanding its footprint in the virtual world industry through several strategic initiatives. These include: localizing the Second Life experience in key international markets, simplifying what the company calls the 'first hour' experience to broaden consumer adoption, enhancing the platform for enterprise users and building a marketplace for virtual goods.
In 2008, users of Second Life spent more than 400 million hours in the virtual world, a 60% increase from from 246 million in 2007.
Linden Lab has added more than 100 new employees in the past year, including several executives: Senior Vice President of Customer Applications Howard Look (formerly of Pixar), Chief Product Officer Tom Hale (formerly of Adobe) and Senior Vice President of Global Technology Frank Ambrose (formerly of AOL).