CEO Resigns from MySpace

generic MySpace logo AP File AP / file

Owen Van Natta has resigned as the chief executive officer of MySpace after less than a year on the job.

The announcement, made in a statement released late Wednesday by MySpace's parent company, News Corp., said that Van Natta is being replaced by newly-elevated co-Presidents Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, who will each report to Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of Digital Media for News Corp.

In announcing the corporate shuffle, News Corp. quoted Van Natta saying that he was "proud of the work we've all accomplished together and look forward to watching its continued growth." It did not say why he was exiting the scene.

Van Natta, one of the most sought-after digital executives in Silicon Valley, previously worked at Facebook, where he had been the chief operating officer before being moved to the job of "chief revenue officer." With Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in no hurry to relenquish the reins, Van Natta left Facebook in Feb. 2008, hoping to become CEO elsewhere.

News Corp. appointed Van Natta as CEO of MySpace in April 2009.

At the time, Miller said that Van Owen combined "a deep understanding of social networking, a keen business sense, and the operational experience to guide MySpace through its next phase of growth. I'm confident his leadership will be an invaluable asset."

MySpace, once the world's largest social network, has since been eclipsed by Facebook. With roughly 260 billion page views, Facebook is now about 11 times bigger than MySpace.
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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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