MySpace CEO DeWolfe Resigns, Facebook Executive Eyed As Replacement

MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe resigns as the social-networking site faces increased competition from Facebook. Speculation about his replacement is already rampant, with the name of one former Facebook executive in the mix. Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking sites have been working to make themselves into sturdier business solutions.

MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe will step down from his role "in the near future," according to the social-networking site's parent corporation, News Corp.

A press release issued by the company said that DeWolfe would continue to serve as both a strategic adviser and board member of MySpace China.

Tom Anderson, president of MySpace, would be taking a new role within the company as well, according to News Corp.'s Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller. News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for around $580 million.
"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 company-issued 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."

Speculation immediately erupted online as to who would replace DeWolfe. Likely candidates batted around by various news organizations include Own Van Natta, a former Facebook executive, Quincy Smith, head of CBS Interactive, and former News Corp. executive Ross Levinsohn.

Although MySpace has 130 million users, according to New Corp., and some 1,600 employees, it has lost ground to Facebook and its 200 million users. In February 2008, MySpace introduced the MySpace Developer Platform Site, with an open-source API (application programming interface) in an attempt to wrest market share away from Facebook's own developer platform.

Social networking has become of increased importance to the enterprise.

Salesforce recently integrated both Twitter and Facebook into its Service Cloud, giving companies the ability to monitor online chatter about their products or services.

Twitter, a service that allows users to send 140-character microblogs, or "tweets," is also entering the business world with paid commercial accounts rolling out later in 2009. In March 2009, it launched a Microsoft-sponsored site, called ExecTweets, which collects executives' microblogging into one easily searchable site.