Linden Lab is a developer of digital entertainment that inspires users to create, socialize, share — and have fun.
Founded in 1999, Linden Lab in 2003 released Second Life, the pioneering virtual world that’s been enjoyed by millions of people and seen billions of dollars transacted among users in its economy. Today, tens of thousands of creators continually develop exciting new 3D content and experiences and profit from selling their millions of virtual items on the marketplace. With Oculus Rift integration, Second Life has become the world’s largest virtual reality playground, offering more than a petabyte of user-made 3D experiences to explore and create with others from around the world.
In 2013, Linden Lab expanded its product portfolio with new platforms, including Patterns, a new 3D universe for users to shape; Blocksworld, a lighthearted build-and-play system on the iPad for kids and grownups alike; and Desura, a community-driven digital distribution service for gamers.
Today, Linden Lab remains an industry-changing leader in virtual worlds led by a team that includes deep experience in the software and games industries. Headquartered in San Francisco, Linden Lab’s presence extends to offices in Seattle, Boston, Davis, and Charlottesville.
Learn more about the management and people that bring ideas to life at Linden Lab.
Ebbe Altberg | CEO
Ebbe Altberg comes to Linden Lab with more than 25 years of experience leading teams and creating software used by hundreds of millions of users. After graduating from Middlebury College he went on to work at Microsoft, where he spent most of his 12 years leading teams that created the world’s most popular productivity products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Office.
In 2000, Ebbe moved to Ingenio, Inc., where he headed up product and had a stint as interim CEO. As Chief Product Officer, he lead Ingenio to become an innovative telephony and marketplace company, which was ultimately acquired by at&t Interactive in 2007.
Ebbe then joined Yahoo! in Europe as VP Head of Audience, with responsibility for all consumer-facing products and affairs. After a couple of years he was promoted to SVP Media Products, a group of about 800 engineering and product people that created the Yahoo! homepage, news, sports, finance, and entertainment products and platforms.
Most recently, Ebbe went back to a small startup, BranchOut, where he was the COO and managed the teams building products for professionals such as BranchOut and Talk.co.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.