It is with profound sadness that I learned this morning that Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg, a driving force behind Second Life (and Sansar) since 2014, has passed away.
Second Life found new highs in 2020 between a worldwide pandemic taking grip, through the times of a tumultuous leadership change in the United States, and during movements of civil changes that will forever live in history books. Second Life provides many with the comfort of a normal that continues to exist for all of us, where many use it to escape real life pressures, stressors and day to day challenges. In Second Life we can be our ideal, our best, celebrate all that is good across the world together. Sadly we have also seen some people go, and they will never be forgotten as they touched us, gave us their best from their hearts, minds and souls – this thing called real life sometimes knocks on our door and makes a call.
This is one of those calls.
Ebbe Altberg started with Linden Lab as our CEO on February 5th, 2014. He took the helm of the company and immediately went to work on reinvigorating our spirit and culture. Ebbe brought a profound openness, and transparency in his operation which was key and that had many effects on all of us internally, and externally. Lindens were encouraged to be part of the vibrant community in Second Life, to participate in and to cherish it as part of our daily duties. Ebbe also worked internally on embracing all aspects of Second Life, learning about its many nuances to understand impacts of decisions we make; while being sensitive to those and utilizing all of our resources, which firstly included you, the community, and many of us who are deeply embedded in Second Life. Ebbe’s goals for Second Life included promoting Second Life as the world’s best virtual world, community and platform. He also sought new adventures in building next generation products.
As I am here before you today, it is with profound sadness that I share with you Ebbe passed away yesterday evening restfully and surrounded by the love of his family.
Some of us have known for a long while that Ebbe wasn’t well, those of us in Sansar especially. For the majority of folks in Second Life he was somewhere out there in an office helping to make decisions that changed our virtual lives; sometimes we agreed with those changes and sometimes we did not.
But to the folks in Sansar he was someone who came in and played, chatted on Discord telling us what he was grilling that night for dinner — being very free with his comments and sometimes his language all in a sort-of-agreed-upon NDA mode. To my knowledge no one ever broke that “code”.
It was good to see the person behind the job.
Goodbye and safe journey.
Ebbe was a special breed of leader, and he will be missed. I vividly remember him joining Drax and Strawberry and the rest of us on our Saturday morning Atlas Hopping adventures in the then-new world of Sansar. His trademark “Ebbe run” (his avatar running around the Sansar landscape at top speed, with both arms raised in the air) will certainly be missed.
The worlds he helped build—Sansar and Second Life—will be his legacy. My condolences go out to Ebbe’s family, friends, and coworkers.