paidContent - Van Natta Taps New Design Execs To Simplify MySpace; Katz, Andrus Leaving

This story was written by Robert Andrews.
Owen Van Natta is saying goodbye to two more execs, and hoping a pair of design-focused new starters can sort out the site’s sprawl. In a staff memo (via TechCrunch), he confirmed the rumoured exit of International SVP and MD Travis Katz, who first built the business overseas in 2006 and steered its growth to 21 European countries alone, and said product SVP Tom Andrus “has decided to explore other opportunities” after two years.

—Katie Geminder, who previously headed user experience design at Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) and Facebook, comes in as SVP of that portfolio
—Mike Macadaan, previously VP of UX at AOL/Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), replaces Andrus as product VP.

From the memo: “Simplifying and unifying our site is fundamental to our success going forward. MySpace should feel like one platform - not 15 sites loosely stitched together. We consider our diverse content offering a strength but too many logos and disorganized verticals makes the site difficult to navigate and creates confusion about our brand identity. Our users dont know if were a social portal, a music site, or an entertainment hub.” Van Natta is restructuring the technology and product group.

By Robert Andrews