Linden Lab is a developer of digital entertainment that inspires users to create, socialize, share — and have fun.
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in San Francisco, Linden Lab makes shared creative spaces that inspire and empower users to explore and share their creativity with others.
In 2003, the company released Second Life, the pioneering virtual world filled by the unique creations of its users, who can build anything they can imagine, socialize with others from around the world, and share or sell their creations in a thriving real-money marketplace.
Linden Lab has now expanded its portfolio to include five new digital entertainment products, including Patterns, a new 3D universe for users to shape; Creatorverse, a tablet and mobile game that allows users to set their creativity in motion; dio, a new shared creative space on the web; Versu, an interactive fiction experience that makes the reader a part of a living story; and Blocksworld, a lighthearted build-and-play system for kids and grownups alike for the iPad. The company also recently acquired Desura, a community-driven digital distribution service for gamers.
Learn more about the management and people that bring ideas to life at Linden Lab.
Rod Humble | CEO
Rod Humble is Chief Executive Officer at Linden Lab, and he leads the company’s strategy and the development of Second Life. Humble’s 20-year career in the game development industry has included work on more than 200 games. He joined Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where, in his role as Executive Vice President, he led the EA Play label, which includes the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. In 2009, he was ranked #2 on the annual list of the Hot 100 Game Developers from gaming publication Edge. Prior to his work at Electronic Arts, Humble served as Vice President of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment for the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) EverQuest.
Rod's Creation: This is a portrait of Linden Lab. It is a piece of computer artwork, it shows the interactions over time of a number of agents equal to the employees at Linden Lab. Each agent has a colour from the LL Logo.
Malcolm Dunne | CFO
Malcolm Dunne is the Chief Financial Officer of Linden Lab and is a chartered accountant with 15 years of experience in the interactive entertainment industry. Dunne joined Linden Lab from Trion Worlds Inc, where he was CFO and a board member. He was instrumental in growing the organization to 450 headcount, $100m+ revenues within a 12 month period and closing debt and equity funding exceeding $100 million during his 3 1/2 year tenure. Prior to Trion, he was Interim CFO at SCi plc (the former parent company of Eidos), where he was instrumental in raising £60 million to recapitalize the business. Malcolm has also held positions at Capcom and Electronic Arts.
Malcolm's Creation: Another day on the back office.
Kelly Conway | General Counsel
Kelly Conway is the General Counsel at Linden Lab, where she is responsible for the company’s legal affairs. Conway joins Linden Lab from Trion Worlds Inc, where she was Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs. As an industry veteran with more than 10 years in the interactive entertainment industry, she has played an instrumental role in negotiating and concluding development and distribution agreements at several companies. Her work also includes management of corporate transactions, investor relations and intellectual property portfolios. Conway was also part of the legal department of Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) for nearly six years.
Kelly's Creation: My picture is from a recent trip reflecting my passion for travel, photography, and water (especially swimming and bodysurfing). Oh, and clouds!
Don Laabs | Senior Director of Product
As Senior Director of Product, Don Laabs has product responsibility for the massively multiplayer online platform Second Life.
Prior to joining Linden Lab, Don spent over 20 years in the video game business at Electronic Arts, Mindscape, and the Software Toolworks as Senior Producer and VP Product Development. Don's titles include Sims 3, Sims 2, SimsCarnival.com, Pogo.com, The Chessmaster (2100-7000), Majestic Chess, Warlords Battlecry, Earth 2150, the Miracle Piano Teaching System, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Mario is Missing, Mario's Time Machine, Wing Commander (SNES), and Life & Death I and II.
Don started his career as a Software Engineer at Hewlett-Packard's Microwave Technology Division. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Don's Creation: This is the package front for Cribbage King, Don's game that first got him into the business.
John Laurence | VP of Product
John Laurence leads the production of new products at Linden Lab. John has more than ten years of management experience in the video games industry.
Prior to joining Linden Lab, John was at Sony for eight years, where he was the Studio Head and General Manager of Sony’s Taiwan Game Studio.
Before entering the interactive entertainment industry, John was a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He speaks Mandarin Chinese and holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Brandeis University.
John's Creation: I've been learning how to paint pixel art. Here's a 32x32 cube that I made
Jeff Petersen | VP of Engineering
Jeff Petersen is the VP of Engineering and comes to Linden Lab with over 20 years of experience as a game programmer and engineering lead with a passion for well-architected, highly optimized systems.
Prior to joining Linden Lab, he spent 10 years working for Sony Online Entertainment, primarily doing MMO RPG development (with a focus on the networking, server side, and core technologies), along with PS3 and PSP development. Titles worked on include: Everquest, Everquest II, Star Wars Galaxies, Planetside, Untold Legends PS3, Field Commander PSP, FreeRealms, and CloneWars Adventures. While at Sony Online Entertainment, Jeff developed the core technology infrastructure that currently serves as the foundation for many development efforts at the company. He has also held leadership and engineering positions at Harmless Games, SilverPlatter, and Virgin Interactive Entertainment where he created an early entry into MMO gaming called Subspace.
Jeff's Creation: A snippet of code that Jeff wrote to solve a problem elegantly.
Lee Senderov | VP of Marketing
Lee joined Linden Lab as VP of Marketing in July 2012 with over a decade of experience in online marketing and e-commerce. Previously, she was VP, US Comparison Shopping and Online Marketing for Become.com where she worked closely with over 3,500 of the top online retailers as well as with strategic partners such as Google and eBay.
She also ran Broadspan Commerce, a conglomerate of e-commerce sites (like Totalbedroom.com and Directlyhome.com) specializing in home furnishings and decor. Earlier in her career, she oversaw marketing for the Naked Juice Company's East Coast operations where she was on a team that grew the business and subsequently sold it to PepsiCo in 2006. Lee holds an MBA from The Harvard Business School and a BA in History with minors in French, Spanish and Italian from Brandeis University.
Lee's Creation: Lee enjoys cooking and many of her creations are inspired in the kitchen. Here are some Mouse Cupcakes she created out of cherries, almonds and chocolate.
Landon McDowell | VP of Operations and Platform Engineering
Landon McDowell is VP of Operations and Platform Engineering at Linden Lab, where he has led the transition of live operations and the production platform to support the company’s new products. Previous to joining Linden Lab in 2008, he launched numerous commercial products in the telecommunications industry including VoIP and IPTV services. He has also worked as a research chemist.
Landon has a B.S. in chemistry from Virginia Tech. He loves building large scale systems and his passion for virtual worlds is fueled by his interest in sociology and economics.
Landon's Creation: Landon keeps his lab skills sharp in the kitchen, iterating on techniques obsessively until he's satisfied with the results. Here is a country loaf he made from a starter he has kept going for years
Mitch Kapor works with startups using information technology platforms to drive disruptive innovation. He is currently a seed stage investor in Uber, Twilio, Inkling and University Now. His focus is increasingly on driving positive social impact, especially in leveraging IT to close gaps of opportunity and access in education, health care and other areas.
Mitch founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s. He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet and the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation, creator of the open source web browser Firefox. He is also a founding investor in Linden Lab, maker of the first successful virtual world, Second Life.
Currently he serves on the board of Mitchell Kapor Foundation, which works to ensure fairness and equity for low-income communities of color in the areas of civic engagement, sustainability, and college access and the Level Playing Field Institute, whose mission is to enhance equal opportunity in education and the workplace.
Mitch is also on the Advisory Board of Generation Investment Management, a firm whose vision is to embed sustainability into the mainstream capital markets.
Having founded three business, Jed Smith understands the many needs of an entrepreneur - from analytical market research to hiring world class teams to reaching for a game changing, industry changing world changing vision. With this entrepreneurial and operating experience, Jed appreciates the art of the company building process and has an array of functional business skills available for short term impact as well as a long term temperament to drive lasting value. Jed has participated in over 100 transactions and has had multiple successful exits as a venture capitalist over the last 13 years and through Catamount's four funds.
With 23 years of high growth start-up experience, Jed has leveraged his background as a proven operator to build successful companies. Prior to launching Catamount, in 1997, Jed founded drugstore.com (NASDAQ: DSCM) in 1997, and helped recruit and serve on the board of directors with John Doerr, Brook Byers, Peter Neupert, Howard Schultz and Jeff Bezos. Drugstore.com eventually was sold to Walgreens for ~$450M. Prior to drugstore.com in 1994, Jed co-founded and spent four years at Cybersmith, a breakthrough retail chain that showcased the latest advances in information technology, internet and multimedia software, industries in their nascent stages. Before that, Jed was Vice President of Sales at Tribe Computer Works, a networking hardware and software firm that was successfully sold. Jed began his career in technology in the late 1980s working for Tom Siebel and Marc Benioff at Oracle Corporation, was promoted three times ultimately serving as District Manager for Eastern Region VARs.
Jed has advised many private companies and currently serves on the boards of Linden Lab, Banyan Water, Plum Organics and Revolution Foods. He has also served on the boards of several education and non-profit institutions, including the Board of Trustees of Middlebury College, the Monterey Institute for International Studies, Shackleton Schools and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Jed earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Bill Gurley joined Benchmark Capital in 1999 after spending two years as a partner with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Before entering the venture capital business, Bill spent four years on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst, including three years at CS First Boston focusing on the personal computer hardware and software business. His research coverage included such companies as Dell, Compaq, and Microsoft, and he was the lead analyst on the Amazon IPO. In both 1995 and 1996, Bill was a member of the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team. Prior to his investment career, Bill was a design engineer at Compaq Computer, where he worked on products such as the 486/50 and Compaq's initial multi-processor server. Before Compaq, he served in the technical marketing group of Advanced Micro Devices' embedded processor division. Bill is the author of the Above the Crowd newsletter which focuses on the evolution and economics of high technology businesses. Bill is a Chartered Financial Analyst and received an MBA from the University of Texas in 1993 and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Florida in 1989.
Dana L. Evan
Dana Evan brings a unique combination of strategic and executional strengths to more than 20 years of leadership experience in global finance and operations management. Ms. Evan served for 12 years as CFO of VeriSign, Inc., where she was a founding executive and a significant contributor to the company's growth and profitability. She led VeriSign's worldwide operations related to finance and accounting, real estate and property management, legal matters and investor relations, as the company grew from a small venture-backed start-up in 1995 to a global corporation of nearly 5,000 employees. Ms. Evan was a key member of the executive management team, helping to set business strategy and manage company operations as revenue reached nearly $2 billion dollars, driving profitability and cash flow of nearly a half billion dollars per year. During her tenure, Ms Evan led the company's institutional financing rounds, including its successful IPO in 1998 and follow-on financing initiatives. She also was instrumental in driving, executing and integrating approximately 60 merger and acquisition transactions. As the company's chief financial spokesperson, she has been featured in numerous business and financial press, including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Financial Times. Before joining VeriSign, Ms. Evan provided consulting services in the capacity of CFO, vice president of finance, and other executive roles for both public and private companies. Prior to that, Ms. Evan spent six years in various positions at KPMG LLP.
Ms. Evan currently is a director of Box.com, Everyday Health (EVDY), Fusion-IO (FIO), Proofpoint, Inc.(PFPT), Second Life (Linden Labs), Survey Monkey and a non-profit organization, the Health Trust. She also served for several years on the board of Omniture, Inc. (OMTR), which was acquired in October 2009 by Adobe Systems, Inc. for $1.8 billion dollars and on the board of MySQL, a venture-backed startup which was acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1.2 billion dollars in February 2008. Additionally, Ms. Evan also served on the board of Luxe Jewels (dba- Stella and Dot). Ms. Evan also participates in angel venture investing activities and advisory services for companies in the Internet, Technology, and Media arenas.
Ms. Evan is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and holds a B.S. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Finance from Santa Clara University. She is actively involved with several charitable organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of America, The Health Trust, and the University of Santa Clara Business School.
Will Wright, widely acknowledged for creating the simulation video game genre, unveiled the highly anticipated Spore TM in September 2008. Spore is a "universe in a box" that allows players to create a species and guide it to sentience, help it build a society, develop its culture, and explore an infinite cosmos of worlds created by other players. Fans eagerly embraced the creation tools in Spore and have created over 100 million pieces of user-created content, as of Summer 2009.
Spore has been distinguished with such honors as Popular Science's "Best of What's New Award," Popular Mechanics's "Breakthrough Award," PC Magazine's "Technical Excellence Award," Time Magazine's "50 Best Inventions of 2008," and the Jim Henson Technology Honor.
A true gaming industry legend as a result of his pioneering contributions to video games, Wright has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors. Rolling Stone named Will Wright "One of the 100 People who are Changing America," in March 2009, placing him among artists, leaders, scientists, and policymakers who are "fighting every day to show us what is possible." In 2008, Will received the first-ever Gamer God Award at the Spike Video Game Awards as a testament to his revolutionary work. In 2007, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts recognized an individual in the Video Game Industry for the first time when it named Wright a fellow. He also received the Producers Guild of America Vanguard Award that same year.
Wright first rose to prominence when he developed SimCity TM , the acclaimed, nonviolent, open-ended sim game. Wright then followed up the success of SimCity with a string of popular simulation games throughout the 1990s. Titles such as SimEarth: The Living Planet (1990), SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony (1991), SimCity 2000 (1993), SimCopter (1996), and SimCity 3000 (1999) introduced simulation games to hundreds of thousands of new fans, demonstrating the genre's true potential.
Wright's next groundbreaking game came in the form of The Sims (2000), which has gone on to become the best selling PC game franchise of all time, being available in 22 languages in 60 countries. Wright, who studied architecture in college, originally conceived of the game as an architectural design simulator. To "score" the quality of the design, he added tiny people who would inhabit the buildings. These simulated people quickly stole the spotlight, and Will realized that watching the lives of the Sims unfold was the real entertainment. The Sims franchise has now sold over 100 million units around the world.