Ex-Facebook COO Owen Van Natta To Get MySpace CEO Gig


Owen Van Natta will be getting the top spot at MySpace, Kara Swisher says.

This confirms an earlier report by Peter Kafka, who said Van Natta would be taking over for departing MySpace CEO and founder Chris DeWolfe.

Van Natta was Facebook’s COO, but left that job in February of 2008, because he wanted to be CEO, something that would never happen with Zuckerberg running the show. Swisher says details are being hammered out to complete the deal, with new News Corp. digital head Jon Miller in charge of it. DeWolfe is expected to stay on as a special consultant in some capacity.

Kafka said that News Corp. wasn’t initially going to get rid of DeWolfe, but once TechCrunch reported the company was looking for a replacement, DeWolfe called up Jon Miller. That phone “conversation led to today’s negotiations, which will likely lead to his stepping down as CEO, although he may remain affiliated with MySpace in some capacity.”

UPDATE: Now it’s officially official, DeWolfe, along with co-founder Tom Anderson are moving into new roles. DeWolfe will be a strategic advisor, Anderson’s role is being figured out. No official word on Van Natta, though. Media Memo has the release (which we pasted below.)

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 organisation.

“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.”