Philip Rosedale, the man who created the virtual world, Second Life, is to step down from his role as head.

Rosedale founded Linden Lab in 1999 and the company then went on to create the avatar world, Second Life.

He is currently head of the company but will become the company's chairman once a new head for the firm has been hired.

In a statement Mr Rosedale he would stay at the company and work on strategy and design for Second Life, spending less time on the day-to-day job of growing and managing the company.

Writing on the Second Life blog, Mr Rosedale said: "I will be 100% involved and fulltime at Linden Lab. Second Life is my life's work, and I am not going anywhere".

He added that his passion for Second Life was "undiminished".

Rosedale will replace computer industry veteran Mitch Kapor - the co-founder of Lotus - as chairman, although Kapor will continue as a board member at Linden.