Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Breaking News: Linden Lab Appoints Ebbe Altberg as CEO

By Bixyl Shuftan

Earlier today, Linden Lab broke two weeks of silence about it's search for a new CEO with a press release. They had chosen Ebbe Altberg to lead the company.

“We remain committed to world-changing innovation from Linden Lab,” said Jed Smith of the company’s Board of Directors. “We’re keenly focused on providing incredible experiences for all of our customers, and Ebbe is the perfect person to help lead our team as we continue to serve and grow our global audience of active users."

Altberg describes himself in his LinkedIn account as having "Over 20 years experience managing teams that define, produce, and operate world class software." His most recent position was that of Chief Operations Officer at BranchOut, a Facebook ap designed for finding jobs and recruiting potential employees. Before that, he was the Senior VP of Media Engineering at Yahoo from 2010-2012, and "VP Head of Audience, EMEA" also at Yahoo from 2008 to 2010. Prior to that, he was the Chief Product Officer at Ingenio, a telecommunications company that was later bought by AT&T. From 1988 to 2000, he worked "various program management and product unit management positions" at Microsoft.

Besides English, Altberg descibes himself as proficient in Swedish.

Several people on LinkedIn had words to say about Altberg. Among them was Phillippe Cassereau, the Vice President of Technology at Disney whom while working at Yahoo answered to him, "Ebbe is a very strong business and product leader able to filter the noise and distill a crisp vision and direction for his team. He was instrumental in shifting the thinking in Yahoo Media from being vertically silo'ed to instead a strong platform SaaS horizontal approach at global scale. As a manager, Ebbe is able to inspire action and results without micro-managing his staff and trusting his teams to figure out the details, while setting a consistent direction and vision for his organization. He has great skills at filtering through the minutia and details of running a large organization and zeroing instead quickly of what is really important for the business."

Blair Jeffris, the CEO of the online advertising company Retargeter whom "worked with" Altberg at Ingenio, had this to say, "Ebbe was instrumental in Ingenio’s success. From start-up through acquisition eight years later, I don’t think anybody at Ingenio worked harder than Ebbe. He built teams that developed great products and kept complex systems running around the clock. He keeps his cool and a sense of humor and is well-liked and respected throughout the organization. Good times through tough times Ebbe is a guy you want on your team."

Ray Johnson, who became Ingenio's Senior Technology Excecutive, wrote, "Ingenio has an awesome culture of honesty, transparency, straight forwardness, respectfulness and common sense. No one was more responsible for instilling that culture at Ingenio than Ebbe. He has an amazing ability to help find a path out of the stickiest of situations with everyone feeling the better for it. Ebbe also has some pretty mad ping-pong skills!"

These glowing reviews, and others, explain why Altberg looked good to Linden Lab. As to the question of how much he'll be communicating with the residents, he's answered a few questions via twitter, saying of having a meet and greet with Second Life residents "Absolutely." Of if there will be a Ebbe Linden account, "Start on Monday."

Can Linden Lab's fourth CEO help lead the company, and Second Life, into an era of prosperity? Hopefully he can succeed where Mark Kingdom and Rod Humble did not.

One can send a message to Ebbe Altberg via Twitter (here).

Sources: Linden Lab, Jo Yardley, LinkedIn,

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. Bix, you need to quit writing when you're half asleep. "They had chosed Ebbe Altberg to lead the company. " Chosed? really? :P

  2. " He was instrumental in shifting the thinking in Yahoo Media from being vertically silo'ed to instead a strong platform SaaS horizontal approach at global scale." After reading this several times, I am getting a strong feeling that instead of being a random collection of words thrown into a sentence, it has actual meaning. He shifted thinking to an approach, apparently.

  3. Sorry L'sai. Between real life work and the paper, I run on caffeine sometimes. ;-)

    And Hal, I thought a little about editing that line out. Then I wondered if maybe the Lab didn't know what it meant either.