Lane Merrifield (Billybob) To Be Leaving Club Penguin

Update: Billybob has made a post about this on the Club Penguin Blog. Read about it here.

All Things D has published an article stating that Lane Merrifield, the co-founder of Club Penguin, has decided to leave the game that was purchased by Disney in August 2007.

This morning Merrifield sent a letter to all of the employees of Club Penguin, writing “Our team has grown Club Penguin from a simple idea to being the largest global virtual world for kids for seven straight years while maintaining a significant profit margin. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of Club Penguin, and I know that it will continue to grow and thrive.”

A spokesperson did confirm this, meaning it is the real deal. Lane Merrifield/Billybob’s departure is effective immediately, however he expects to help out until February 1, 2013. Here is the full email that was sent out:

To my friends at Disney:

Five years ago our little company joined Disney and I had no idea then what an amazing adventure it would turn out to be. Since that time, I have had the privilege of working alongside and learning from so many of you and the joy of creating great products together. I appreciate the opportunity and the faith this company placed in me and the ways it has allowed me to grow both as a leader and as a person. I am also grateful for the countless memories this company has created for me and my family. Our team has grown Club Penguin from a simple idea to being the largest global virtual world for kids for seven straight years while maintaining a significant profit margin. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of Club Penguin, and I know that it will continue to grow and thrive.

Like many entrepreneurs though, there comes a time when the desire to create something new outweighs the comfort of what’s known and for me that time has come.

Over the past year, I’ve invested in a new educational startup called Freshgrade that focuses on creating mobile cloud-based assessment software for teachers and students and it has reached a place where more of my time is needed. We started Club Penguin in order to enhance our children’s online experience and now I hope to do the same with their educational experience.

Thank you for the role you’ve played in my journey and I truly hope that even though my business card may change, my friendship with so many of you will not.

With gratitude,

Now, here are some little known facts about Lane:

  • A few months after making his penguin, he wanted to change his name because he didn’t like Billybob anymore.
  • To help assist Screenhog in making girl penguin clothes, he went to the store and bought some teen girl magazines.
  • It was his idea to put Astro Barrier in the Dance Lounge.
  • He was the first support representative for the game.
  • There was going to be a game called Cave Runner, but instead he made Cart Surfer. It took 9 days from creation to launch.
  • He wanted the June 2006 party (Summer Party) to be really good.
  • At the meeting to announce Disney bought Club Penguin, he started it off with a lengthy introduction for suspense.
  • He was unhappy with the original Card-Jitsu music that was made so he had it switched before launch.
  • He didn’t do the best in college.
  • He was a C-average student.
  • Puffles were originally meant to not have mouths, but he and Rsnail convinced Screenhog to add it.

62 thoughts on “Lane Merrifield (Billybob) To Be Leaving Club Penguin

  1. I’am really sad that’s he’s leaving – sure i never spoken to him or seen him in the game but he’s the one everyone knows.

  2. Pingback: Billybob quitting Club Penguin? | CpViews

    • Sorry, I didn’t mean to post twice but do you know if this means that he is just stepping down from being head of Club Penguin or if he is also leaving his other job as head of Disney Virtual Worlds (where he also helps with Toontown, Pirates Online,etc.)? If he is keeping his Disney Virtual Worlds position that means he would still have an active role in Club Penguin, which I hope is true.

  3. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was the last owner and now he quits, I will take over I am a huge fan lol but seriously do not leave lane, you are my hero

    • Yep, he was the last owner/founder and now he’s leaving… But don’t get the blues ;) Now is the chance for a new Club Penguin, new owners, new founder. I think that Happy77, Businesmoose and Polo Field will be the Billybob, Rsnail and Screenhog from the new Club Penguin age. :D

  4. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Billybob was so cool! I can’t just say goodbye forever to him!

  5. Hey Train!

    I think in memorie of Lane we should throw a Club Penguin Memories good-bye party. We should email CP if some moderators could attend! Do you agree?

  6. i think that is why he has come on club penguin so much :( Dont be sad he is leaving cp be happy he has found another way to suseed and fell happy in life

  7. wait… then we might just get the older parties that were before CP was bought…. still sad… but the parties that are happening are kinda boring. so are the items. we haven’t had a great party in a long time. the Halloween Party was the best decorated party for two years

  8. bye billy bob i will miss you :{ billy bob if your reading this you were the best i hope you have a good life i will miss you waaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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