In the last couple of years, Linden Lab has grown from around 50 people to (we are told) around 250 people. It is a growth stage of companies that most do not survive, as usually they do something lethally boneheaded in the process.
Another stage that many companies do not survive is their first change of CEO. It is a massive change for the company's table of organization, reporting chains and corporate culture. The first CEO change generally sees a large staff turnover.
That's what usually happens, anyway. While we're not predicting sudden death for Linden Lab, they're getting their first new CEO today.
Philip Rosedale moves up to board Chairman, replacing Mitch Kapor (whose title we don't know when the music stops), and Philip is in turn replaced by new CEO, Mark Kingdon, late of Organic Inc.
If you look at Organic's website you'd be hard pressed for the first minute or so to figure out what it is they actually do. They're one of those "You already know who they are, or you don't" shops. They're essentially an online marketing agency.
Prior to that, Kingdon was a partner in the consulting division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the 'Big Four' international accountancy and professional services firms.
We're frankly amazed that anyone was picked so quickly. CEO at Linden Lab is probably the second-worst job at the company (we'd pick the abuse team for the worst position).
Linden Lab had their announcing chain in order, notifying Reuters first (perhaps as early as yesterday), company employees next (in a meeting at 2PM US Pacific time today), the general press just after 3PM US Pacific, and Second Life users at 3:30PM.
Kingdon starts full-time with Linden Lab on 15 May, and his avatar will be 'M Linden', effectively making it awkward to find him in Second Life's built-in search system.