MySpace Gets a New Chief Product Officer

    April 27, 2009
    Chris Crum

Last week, it was announced that MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe was leaving the company, and that former Facebook Chief Operating Officer and Chief Revenue Officer Owen Van Natta would be taking his place. Then his second in command was confirmed to be former AOL executive Michael Jones, who will be taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer at MySpace.

Jason HirschornNow, MySpace has a new Chief Product Officer in Jason Hirschhorn. He has worked at both MTV and Sling, where he was in charge of development of Dan Frommer at SIA notes, "Hirschhorn is about as well-connected as you can get in the media business."

Van Natta served as Facebook’s chief operating officer and chief revenue officer for several years.  Before that, he spent even more time at Amazon.  Jones is the founder of Userplane, a video chat service that was acquired by AOL several years ago, PBJ Digital, and Last year, he started content publisher Tsavo Media, which is described as a site that delivers "highly relevant experiences to today’s digital consumers."

"Michael’s operational insight and knowledge of the social media market will prove to be a valuable asset as we set out to evolve the MySpace product offering,” said Jon Miller, Chief Digital Officer, News Corporation.  “From a product perspective, there’s no better choice than Jason, who is highly regarded as an incredibly talented innovator, media executive and leader, all qualities I know will greatly benefit our team and our users."

"We were attracted to Michael’s unique background in building and operating successful businesses that fall directly in our sweet spot, and I look forward to leveraging his skill set as we further refine and shape the MySpace vision," said  Van Natta. "Jason’s reputation for creating compelling consumer experiences that leverage the intersection of technology, design and media is unmatched and we’re excited to have him join us."

MySpace is still a huge site, but Facebook is growing much more rapidly. We all know people that have given up on MySpace and moved on to using just Facebook or Twitter or other networks.

Perhaps new leadership in Van Natta, Jones, and Hirschhorn will kick MySpace growth back into gear. The industry will be very interested in seeing what moves MySpace makes under its new leaders.