“The technology is available to make the music experience better. I intend to apply it and to find new ways to drive innovation at EMI Music.”
——Cory Ondrejka


Linden Labs Co-founder Becomes the Second Internet Star to Join Company
Avatar alert: EMI Music has bagged another Internet whiz. Cory Ondrejka, who led the development of the virtual world Second Life as co-founder of Linden Lab, has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy, a newly created position.

In his new role, Ondrejka will draw from past experience to build the digital strategy for EMI, drive innovation around new revenue opportunities and build a world-class engineering team for the company. Ondrejka will be based at EMI Music's L.A. headquarters.

Said Douglas Merrill, the Google executive who earlier this year joined EMI as President of Digital Business: “Cory shares my passion for driving technology and innovation in the digital music business. His unique experience building online environments, like Second Life, will be invaluable to EMI Music, as we create new digital communities for fans and artists. Adding Cory to the leadership team of the company continues to reinforce our commitment to the digital market. Truth be told, I bought Cory on eBay."

Added Ondrejka: "EMI presented me with a rare opportunity to influence the digital music industry, by helping artists reach their fans in more relevant ways and by allowing fans to find and acquire music through new business models. The technology is available to make the music experience better. I intend to apply it and to find new ways to drive innovation at EMI Music. Plus, Guy Hands promised me free downloads of the entire Beatles catalog as soon as the iTunes deal closes."

In addition to developing the Second Life core code and building Linden Lab from four to 250 people, Ondrejka drove multiple initiatives that generated value from user participation, creation and collaboration. The ecosystems he helped create led directly to the success of Second Life, as well as the ongoing use of Second Life as a platform for music, education and business.

Before Linden Lab, Ondrejka traveled an eclectic path from the U.S. Naval Academy and nuclear power to defense contracting and videogame development.

More recently, he has served as a visiting professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at USC, where he taught a course on online communities and coordinated research for the Public Diplomacy and Network Culture Project.