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Van Natta named MySpace chief

Just one day after announcing the departure of CEO and cofounder Chris DeWolfe, MySpace today named Owen Van Natta to the social network's top spot.

Van Natta, whose appointment was widely expected, brings a wealth of social networking experience. Previously the chief revenue officer for Facebook, Van Natta helped engineer the $240 million investment from Microsoft in MySpace's chief rival.

That investment gave Facebook a sky-high valuation of $15 billion, a figure that has since come down considerably.

Van Natta is also a veteran of Amazon, and most recently served as chief executive of Playlist, Inc., an online music-sharing company.

At MySpace, he will be tasked with remaining competitive with Facebook, which is on its way to eclipsing MySpace in terms of U.S. users, after soaring past it globally last June.

Tom Anderson, MySpace's president and the site's other co-founder, is set to step down from his current role for another position in the company.

MySpace is owned by News Corp. and administered in the company's Fox Interactive Media division. Van Natta will report to Jonathan Miller, News Corp.'s CEO of digital media.

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