MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta Quits

Struggling social networking site MySpace will have two new top men after Owen Van Natta stepped down as the company’s CEO on Wednesday. In a statement, Jon Miller of News Corp.’s Digital Media, which owns MySpace, said the decision to change leadership at the former number one social networking site was mutual. Miller said Van Natta’s personal and professional priorities at the moment led to the sudden parting. Van Natta will be replaced by Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, the erstwhile co-presidents.

Van Natta said he was proud of what he was able to accomplish in his less-than-a-year stay in MySpace, saying that he “made real gains in terms of product focus and user experience.” Van Natta was previously with Facebook before he replaced MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe.

MySpace has been undergoing modifications as of late, morphing from a traditional social networking site to becoming a portal for entertainment and music. Despite Van Natta’s claims of improvements in MySpace, some analysts are not convinced. Debra Aho Williamson of eMarketer, for instance, believes that Van Natta’s departure could send the wrong signal to advertisers, investors, and users alike.