EMI taps Second Life co-founder Ondrejka

Will drive innovation, lead engineering team

LONDON -- EMI Music has hired Cory Ondrejka, co-founder of Linden Lab, creator of the Second Life virtual world, to push forward the music company's digital strategy.

Ondrejka, who will be based in Los Angeles, is tasked with driving innovation around new revenue opportunities and building a "world-class" engineering team for EMI.

"Cory shares my passion for driving technology and innovation in the digital music business," said the former Google executive Douglas Merrill, who is now EMI Music president of digital 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," added Merrill, to whom Ondrejka will report. "Adding Cory to the leadership team of the company continues to reinforce our commitment to the digital market."

At Linden Lab, where the chief technology officer had served for seven years, Ondrejka was one of the chief architects of the Second Life 3-D online universe. His departure from the company in December generated serious ripples in the technology-blog space.