Tom From Myspace FIRED!!!

April 23, 2009

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp may be courting a former top executive at social network Facebook to replace the chief executive and co-founder of its top rival MySpace, All Things Digital, a media and technology website, reported on Wednesday. News Corp’s recently appointed digital chief, Jonathan Miller, had been considering getting rid of MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe, Peter Kafka reported on Wednesday afternoon on his Media Memo blog, which is part of All Things Digital. News Corp officials have been gauging former Facebook Chief Operating Officer Don Van Natta’s interest in replacing him, Kafka reported. The Wall Street Journal reported that News Corp’s Miller is considering replacing DeWolfe and the company’s other co-founder, Tom Anderson. Their contracts expire this fall. The possibility of DeWolfe’s departure was first reported by Michael Arrington on his TechCrunch blog on Tuesday. DeWolfe did not return an emailed message seeking comment and a MySpace spokeswoman declined to comment. Van Natta did not return a Facebook e-mail message or a telephone call seeking comment. News Corp officials declined to comment. News Corp has been trying to freshen MySpace — once viewed as evidence of News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch’s willingness to embrace the Internet generation after a life in newspapers — as its revenue growth has slowed and Facebook grows ever more popular. Facebook is trying to catch up to MySpace in the United States, where it has 54.5 million monthly unique visitors versus 76 million for MySpace, according to figures released by Comscore in March. Facebook’s growth rate outstripped MySpace at the time. It already has surpassed MySpace in worldwide users. Earlier this year, MySpace lost three executives including former chief operating officer Amit Kapur after they resigned to begin a startup company. MySpace also has a $900 million search-advertising deal with Google that expires in June 2010. Several financial analysts have said that there is little chance that Google would continue its relationship with MySpace. News Corp shares rose 2 cents to close at $7.78 on the Nasdaq stock market. ] TOM no longer President, CEO Chris DeWolfe fired Via TECHCRUNCH Here’s the email that Jonathan Miller, News Corp.’s CEO Digital Medial, sent to all Fox Interactive employees about the departure of MySpace cofounder and CEO Chris DeWolfe. DeWolfe is gone. Cofounder Tom Anderson will apparently stay on but not as President and will no longer control product. The press release went out an hour ago, and given that internal emails inevitably leak, there’s little additional information here. But at least Miller is giving DeWolfe as graceful an exit as he can. To FIM Employees: I am writing to share the news that MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe will be stepping down from his executive role in the near future. He has agreed to serve as a strategic advisor to the Company and will remain on the board of MySpace China. In addition, I am currently in discussions with MySpace President Tom Anderson regarding his role within the organization. I want to take this opportunity to thank them both for their incredible contributions to the Company, and for pioneering one of the greatest social media revolutions of our time. I wish Chris nothing but the best in any new endeavors and, like many in this industry, am eager to witness his next innovations. I understand the importance of having a dynamic, inspiring and innovative management team, and am dedicated to ensuring that MySpace continues to benefit from the highest levels of passion and enthusiasm. I also want to thank everyone across FIM for giving me the opportunity to work with all of you. With MySpace, IGN, Photobucket, Fox Audience Network and our Digital Publishing Group, this is an exciting collective of properties and I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead. I hope to meet and work closely with many of you over the weeks and months to come. Best regards, Jonathan Miller

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