Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Caledon Town Hall Meeting

For those who may not have seen the announcement, Linden Lab let go about 30% of its work force in a "restructuring." While the announcement itself was short on details about why this was happening, or why now, or what is likely to come of it, one can certainly speculate.

Caledon Guvnah Desmond Shang announced an impromptu town hall meeting in the Gaiety Theater in Penzance. (I'm not sure I've ever been in-world for a meeting with the Guv - I usually hear about this stuff third-hand. How exciting for me!)

Before an audience of more than 15 Caledonians (and if that number doesn't sound high, recall that this was a meeting called not more than five minutes before it started, at a time not so convenient for the U.S. West Coast (and a little dicey for Europe)), Des outlined what he had heard and speculated on what the announcement will mean for Caledon.

My takeaways were as follows: first, a number of good people lost their jobs today. One should not forget the human cost of these "restructurings." Second, the Oxbridge gateway may not survive, although this is sheer speculation at this point. Even if Oxbridge is no longer an official gateway, Des will continue to operate Oxbridge and have classes held there. Third, it is possible that, in the short run at least, the uncertainty generated by the changes in the Lab will be beneficial to the Caledon land market, particularly if there is a reduction in the size of the Mainland. Fourth, the general agreement was that the restructuring seemed designed to clean up the balance sheet in preparation for offering the company for sale. This, of course, is sheer speculation, but does not seem unlikely. Getting rid of 30% of your work force tends to suggest either a cash flow problem or an impending sale, and possibly both.

Miss Emilly Orr comments on the Linden Lab announcement here.

Edit 12:57 pm 6/10/10 by Rhianon: I've placed the unedited transcript here, rather than clutter things up with a lengthy chat log.

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