As expected, News Corp (NYSE: NWS) social media flagship MySpace finishes the week with a new CEO: Owen Van Natta. Based in LA, he'll report directly to Jon Miller, the CEO of digital media and chief digital officer. Van Natta leaves Playlist.com after a brief stay as CEO. Watch this space for news about his senior team. Press release after the jump.
News Corporation Names Owen Van Natta Chief Executive Officer of MySpace
Los Angeles, CA, April 24, 2009 News Corporation today announced the appointment of Owen Van Natta to the role of MySpace Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Mr. Van Natta will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to Jonathan Miller, News Corporation's CEO of Digital Media and Chief Digital Officer.
A highly-regarded digital executive, Mr. Van Natta, 39, previously served as Chief Revenue Officer and Vice President of Operations for Facebook, where he helped negotiate Facebook's $240 million investment from Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). Earlier, he served as Vice President of Worldwide Business and Corporate Development for Amazon.com (NSDQ: AMZN). Most recently, he was the CEO of Playlist, Inc., an online music company.
"Owen combines 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," said Mr. Miller. "I plan to work closely with Owen to shape our long-term vision around this vibrant community that already attracts more than 130 million users worldwide."
"I'm thrilled to have the privilege to pilot MySpace in what is sure to be an incredibly exciting and rewarding next chapter for the business," said Mr. Van Natta. "I feel honored to build upon the immeasurable achievements of the MySpace founders and look forward to working with Jon and the MySpace team to meet the challenges and make the most of the opportunities before us."
While serving as Vice President of Operations and Chief Revenue Officer for Facebook, Van Natta focused on revenue operations, business development, strategic partnerships and technical operations. As Vice President of Worldwide Business and Corporate Development at Amazon.com, he managed global marketing programs and strategic partnerships. He was also part of the founding team of A9.com, the Amazon.com search company, and was responsible for site operations and sponsored-link advertising. Owen earned a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
By Staci D. Kramer