Second Life founder Philip Rosedale will give up the role of CEO and become chairman of the board for Linden Lab, the company behind the virtual online community.

Rosedale, who started Second Life in 1999, said the move will free him to focus on product strategy. He wrote on his blog that the new CEO will be charged with hiring and building a team that can increase the 3D community's user numbers.

"This is a decision to best grow SL [Second Life] and match my job to both our needs and my passions," Rosedale said.

Rosedale wrote there is no time line to fill the role. Linden Lab has been trying to grow Second Life into a communication platform not just for people but also for businesses.

Second Life lets users create avatars, or 3D characters, that can speak with one another as they imitate other real-life actions, such as buying property. While admired for its concept, Second Life has also suffered from performance and security concerns.