MySpace’s chief executive and co-founder, Chris DeWolfe, will be stepping down from the popular social networking site.
The news comes as MySpace, which is owned by News Corp. continues to vie for the top spot in the social networking realm. Facebook overtook MySpace among worldwide visitors last June after growing 150 percent during the previous year, according to industry researcher comScore. During that same period, MySpace grew only 3 percent.
DeWolfe might not be the only one for whom things will be changing. Tom Anderson, MySpace’s president and its co-founder, may be assuming a new, unspecified role in the company, according to Jonathan Miller, News Corp.’s (NASDAQ: NWS) chief digital officer.
Whatever Anderson’s role, however, it probably won’t be part of the “new management structure” Miller said he’s building.
“Chris and Tom are true pioneers and we greatly value the tremendous job they’ve done in growing MySpace into what it is today,” Miller said in a statement. “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.”
It’s not clear when DeWolfe and Anderson will leave their current roles, nor who their replacements might be. Names reported to be in the running include former Facebook exec Owen Van Natta, who now heads streaming music firm Project Playlist.
For the time being, at least, DeWolfe said he was thankful for his time with the company he helped found.
“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,” DeWolfe said in a statement. “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.”
Management at Facebook, meanwhile, has also undergone its own changes of late — though not necessarily in a move to shore up a flagging business. The company last month parted ways with its CFO and gave signs that it’s planning an IPO.