After years of product rot and declining user-engagement, News Corp (NWS) fired MySpace CEO and cofounder Chris DeWolfe this Spring and replaced him with former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta.
Despite rumours to the contrary, Chris’s fellow MySpace cofounder, Tom Anderson, has remained with the company.
Now we may know why.
A single source close to Tom tells us that in the wake of Chris DeWolfe’s departure, Tom signed a new, two-year-deal worth $500,000 per year. As a part of the deal, Owen and new News Corp digital media boss Jon Miller asked Tom to stop coming to the office.
Multiple sources confirm that Tom — famous for being every user’s first friend when they join the service — has been asked to take on an ambassador’s role. That won’t be his official title, but “he’ll have little decision or involvement with the product,” says a source.
Reached, a MySpace spokesperson tells us, “we’re not going to comment on this rumour.”
In Spring of 2007, Chris and Tom threatened to leave News Corp (NWS) if they didn’t get a $50 million, two-year deal to stay. Months later, the pair signed an astonishing two-year extension worth as much as $15 million. That put their compensation above every other executive at News Corp save for chairman Rupert Murdoch.