On Friday November 2nd, comment was passed (not from LL) on the apparent departure of Oskar Linden from the Lab. I commented on the matter in my last SL Projects Update for week 44, but at the time it was unclear as to what had happened and why.
A thread on the SL Universe forum started, some of which doesn’t make the most comfortable of reading given some of the attitudes expressed (not towards Oskar or the Lab, I hasten to add, but rather in comments passed by some SL users regarding other SL users). Yesterday – Monday November 5th – (and missed by me at the time as I was completely distracted with other things), Oskar himself popped-up on the thread to pass word himself on the matter, commenting:
To solidify all rumors, yes my employment was terminated by Linden Lab last Friday [November 2nd]. It was a surprise Skype call with the manager of my department and HR. At the same moment all my accounts were locked and I was told a courier was on the way to my house to take my laptop. This is standard operating procedure at the Lab. The reasons given were quite vague, but at the root of it was complaints from a griefer who I had banned from a private testing sandbox that I managed after he was harassing people and threatening to crash them and the region.
I was also told that there were issues with my communications. I don’t understand that because I have operated in the role of public communicator for the lab for three years and have always had stellar reviews. It’s not like the reasons really matter anyway. When the Lab wants you gone it’s over.
To be quite honest this has all come as a surprise and a shock. I have known for a while that this would happen eventually though. All Lindens fear ‘the Skype call’. The old Linden culture is long gone. Many Lindens are disappeared in that way when the Lab no longer has use for them. It has been difficult working through the changes at the Lab the past few years. I could have left, perhaps I should have left on my own. I would have been better off. I did not choose to do so because I was dedicated to the wonderful residents I have met during my 4 years working on SL. I was committed to all of you and committed to making Second Life and Linden Lab a better place. I felt I was fighting the good fight and didn’t want to just run away. I felt that I was making a difference. I hope that I did.
I have no idea what is next for me. I have varied passions that I will follow until I feel the need to pursue further employment.
He goes on to add:
I greatly appreciate all of you who friended me and were so passionate about helping me make Second Life a better place. Your enthusiasm to help find bugs greatly helped the quality of the server code. You are all amazing. You are Second Life, not Linden Lab. Never forget that. I love you all and will miss working with you greatly!
I won’t pretend to have known Oskar well; we’d only spoken a few times, and I’ve only recently been attending his meetings – but I will say that I’ve also found him (and despite my one growl I unfairly gave him in these pages as a result of LL’s own communications policy), to be one of the most open and informative Lindens who faced the user community. His departure is going to take some adjusting to for those who did know him well.
To Oskar himself, I’d just like to pass on my personal thanks for all the effort he has put in over the years. I very much hope that all goes well for him and his family wherever his passions and career may lead. Hopefully, we’ll also see you in-world as well.