MySpace CEO quits after less than a year

Posted by Emma Woollacott

He probably hardly had time to update his profile, but MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta is to leave the company after less than a year in the job.

He's to be replaced by Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, now co-presidents, who will report to News Corporation chairman and CEO Jon Miller.

It was a mutual decision, apparently.

"Owen took on an incredible challenge in working to refocus and revitalize MySpace, and the business has shown very positive signs recently as a result of his dedicated work," said Jon Miller, News Corporation’s Chairman and CEO of Digital Media. 

"However, in talking to Owen about his priorities both personally and professionally going forward, we both agreed that it was best for him to step down at this time.  I want to thank Owen for all of his efforts."

Van Natta was previously at Facebook, but quit after a reshuffle that saw him moved from COO to chief revenue officer - not exactly a clear promotion. He then spent some time at Project Playlist, a music-sharing start-up that competed directly with MySpace's MySpace Music.

He joined MySpace last April, at the same time as Jones and Hirschhorn, who became COO and chief operating officer respectively. 

In a joint statement, Jones and Hirschhorn commented: "We joined MySpace last April with very a specific set of goals in mind, and are anxious to continue working together to make those goals a reality.  This business is now pointed in the right direction, and we have a great team of employees that will continue to push MySpace closer to its potential as the place where people go to be discovered and to discover great content."

MySpace is still trailing well behind Facebook in the social networking market. But, according to Comscore, MySpace Music doubled its business under Van Natta's leadership.