MySpace confirmed Wednesday that CEO Chris DeWolfe would step down, and that it was in discussions with Tom Anderson, everyone's first friend on MySpace and the company's president, about his future role at the social networking site.
In a statement, the company described DeWolfe's departure as a "mutual agreement" between DeWolfe and new News Corp (NYSE: NWS) Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller. DeWolfe will continue on as a strategic advisor to the company. As for Anderson, the company said that Miller was in discussions with him about "assuming a new role" at MySpace.
Former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta is a leading candidate to take over DeWolfe's job.
Staci adds: A couple of points hereVan Natta is considering the job and may very well take it, but I was told nothing has been signed yet. Also, Miller is looking at multiple senior appointments, making it a new team that will lead MySpacenot just a CEO. Under most circumstances, Miller likely would have waited until he had at least one of these people signed and sealed before moving on any changes to DeWolfe and Anderson's roles.
Full release after the jump.
Los Angeles, CA, April 22, 2009 - MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe and News Corporation's Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller, announced today that, by mutual agreement, Mr. DeWolfe will not be renewing his contract and will be stepping down in the near future. Mr. DeWolfe will continue to serve on the board of MySpace China and will be a strategic advisor to the Company.
Additionally, Mr. Miller announced that he was in discussions with Tom Anderson, MySpace's president, about Mr. Anderson assuming a new role in the organization.
"Chris and Tom are true pioneers and we greatly value the tremendous job they've done in growing MySpace into what it is today," said Mr. Miller. "Thanks largely to their vision, MySpace has become a vibrant creative community with 130 million passionate followers worldwide. It is an enormously successful property and we look forward to building on its achievements with a new management structure we'll announce in the near future."
"In a little under six years we've grown MySpace from a small operation with seven people to a very profitable business with over 1,600 employees," said Mr. DeWolfe. "It's been one of the best experiences of my life and we're proud of, and grateful to, the team of talented people who helped us along the way. We thank them, as well as the MySpace community for making our vision a reality."
"From the very beginning, our driving passion has been simple - to create and foster a platform where people across the globe can not only meet and interact, but share music, videos, thoughts and ideas," said Mr. Anderson.I look forward to working with Jon. I love this business, and look forward to its next chapter."
By Joseph Tartakoff