Linden Lab COO/CFO Bob "BK Linden" Komin Leaving Linden Soon, Say Sources
Multiple sources tell me that Bob "BK Linden" Komin, Linden Lab's CFO since early 2010, and Chief Operating Officer since Philip Rosedale departed as CEO in October 2010, will leave Linden Lab soon -- perhaps before the end of June. He's still listed as COO/CFO on the Management page, so I've reached out to Komin for a comment and will update this post when and if I receive any. If confirmed (and let me stress it hasn't yet) this would be the biggest departure of a chief executive at Linden Lab since Rosedale left his interim CEO role, and would probably signify major changes for the company. At the moment, Linden is diversifying its portfolio of products beyond Second Life, such as a game code-named Dio, and some other secret projects that will resemble SL in spirit (far as being user-generated to some extent.)
Whatever his future status, what's Komin done for Linden Lab and Second Life? According to insiders, this:
He's widely credited for shoring up Linden Lab's revenue base after the departure of former CEO Mark Kingdon in 2010, following 30% of Linden's staff, who were also laid off, and even increasing the company's profit. While the company has lost market value in the last few years (an opinion BK Linden disputed on this very blog), it does remain the case that its main revenue source -- private land in Second Life -- has been gradually eroding. However, that revenue model existed before Komin came to Linden Lab, and it's been difficult to replace.
In addition to stabilizing Linden Lab's revenue (for the next 2-3 years at least), many credit (or depending on who you ask) blame Komin for instituting a more traditional corporate command and control structure on the company, which has done much to change the "Tao of Linden" Philip Linden implemented as founding CEO. The Tao once included the ability to choose what about Second Life they would work on, for example, an option that reportedly no longer exists at the Lab. This is probably part of the rancor on Linden Lab's Glass Door entry, as former and current Lindens debate whether the company has since lost its soul.
In any case, while I consider the several sources that say Komin is departing to be highly credible, it has not yet been confirmed; until then, consider this post a precis of Komin the Linden Lab CFO/COO (past, present, but likely not the future.)