The woes at MySpace continue as its CEO, Owen Van Natta, stepped down this week after nine months running the Beverly Hills-based social network. Two of his second-in-command executives, Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, will step up to share Van Natta's duties, MySpace announced.
"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," said Jon Miller, chairman and CEO of Digital Media at parent company News Corp.
When News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million it seemed like a visionary move for a company known for its cartoon television shows on its Fox network. Now? Not so much.
As Facebook passed it by by opening up to non-college-students and presenting the social networking experience as a real-time, streaming conversation with all one's friends online, MySpace's slow, glitchy platform became a digital ghost town.
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Van Natta came from Facebook, and we're guessing the company wanted a little of that smooth-running Facebook magic to rub off on it. Too bad. Because it's a locally based enterprise, we're rooting for MySpace to turn around.