Welcome to SL. I am optimistic that with your experience you will have a positive influence on SL. ( impressive resume btw)
That being said, I want to reiterate what many others have said. SL is not a game or a toy. I hope that this excerpt of a quote from you will not pertain to your philosophy for SL.
".... any element I could remove that got in the way of the game itself I did."
Please dont remove any elements in an attempt to make SL a game on the order of the sims. I dont want to have restrictions of having to eat, go to the bathroom , work at a make believe job etc.
Do however remove the items such as a failed new viewer, poor or non existent premium chat services, general lack of regard for user input. or a poorly functioning search ( or I should say improve many of these ilo of remove)
As another note:
Again, dont think of SL as a game. In your previous jobs it sounds like you were involved in creating games. A better analogy would be that you (LL) provide a space for freelance game programmers to create their own "games" or entertainment only providing them with the tools to do so. Keep in mind LL is the service provider that basically rents out servers and provides software and tools. SL being the software that provides those tools. Your customers are the developers. Your customers are providing the entertainment or experience for their own customer base in SL. ( dont eliminate the economy and ability for your customers to make money here )
To reiterate.....LL only provides the service and tools to allow the freedom of each "resident" customer to provide the entertainment or business models used within SL.
As a former CFO, I have been responsible for serveral divisions of a company. It would be my strategy to think of the different markets of SL or the different areas each as a separate market/division. So my strategy for the general rated areas would be entirely different from the mature or adult rated areas or... You could try segmenting your strategies based on the uses of the SL residents from the creator side, the business model side , the entertainment side, the social interaction side, the educational side etc.
If you want there to be an element of gaming attached to the LL company , fine but make it a separate division of its own separate from SL itself. You may even want to partner with some of the very creative SL customers who have developed some very ingenious entertainment models here or contract them to create stand alone games which could generate a separate revenue stream for LL. As a side note I realize the new TOS says LL can pretty much use the creator content as it wishes but if customer ideas are used without their permission or compensation, you will lose the creative types here) As well, SL is a great tool on which to train 3D artists. I have met many students who use SL as a testing and building tool for their RL projects.
I personally dont like the "games" such as the sims, What attracted me to SL was the ability to meet people from all over the world, to create my own world and have the ability to create my own micro business model thereby generating my own income, ( albeit a small revenue lol)
In closing, I hope you will enjoy being a part of SL as much as most of us do. Experience the platform fully before making any major decisions, listen to your customers and again welcome