Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Van Natta Resigns as MySpace CEO.

Owen Van Natta is stepping down as CEO of struggling Internet social networking site MySpace, effective immediately.

MySpace's parent, News Corp. made the announcement late Wednesday. The former Facebook executive will be replaced by co-presidents Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn.

All three men joined MySpace last April.

Jon Miller, the chairman of digital media for News Corp., said he and Van Natta agreed to his resignation after discussing his personal and professional priorities.

A major shake up at MySpace, where Owen Van Natta is out after less than a year. Stepping up to run the social network are the other two members of the troika brought in by Jon Miller, chairman and CEO of Digital Media for News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), last year to run the company: Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, who are now co-presidents reporting directly to Miller. (Miller’s memo below, as is the release.) More to come.

Miller’s Memo

Today we announced that Owen Van Natta is stepping down as MySpace’s CEO.  Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, who have each done a great job from both an operational and product perspective, are being elevated to co-Presidents and will assume Owen’s responsibilities.  While this may be a surprising turn of events for some of you, I am absolutely confident that this change is best for all parties involved and – most importantly – the MySpace business.  Owen took on an incredible challenge in assuming leadership of MySpace during a difficult period.  He has worked to refocus and revitalize the company, and I believe MySpace is pointed in the right direction and gaining valuable momentum – we added over 1.5 million users and grew significantly in time spent last month – as a result of many of his efforts.  However, in discussing with Owen his priorities for the future both personally and professionally, we both agreed that it was best that he step down at this time.  I am grateful to Owen for his hard work, and I ask that you join me in wishing him well in the future.  His departure is effective immediately, as are the appointments of both Mike and Jason.

I will leave it to Mike and Jason to communicate to all of you their excitement about the future and their priorities for the business going forward, but I would like to express my confidence in their ability to lead MySpace into this new and promising chapter.  Since joining in April, their efforts on both the operational and product development fronts have been vital to our recent progress.

Thank you all for your continued hard work, and please join me in congratulating Mike and Jason on their new roles, and in wishing Owen all the best in the future.



Office of Jonathan Miller
Chairman & CEO, News Corp. Digital Media Group
Chief Digital Officer, News Corporation

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