Ailing social networking website MySpace loses co-president after four months

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Monday, June 21, 2010

MySpace logo

News Corp., the parent company of MySpace, announced Friday that Co-President Jason Hirschhorn has decided to leave the social networking website because he wishes to return to his home city of New York. MySpace is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.

MySpace was founded in 2003 by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe and purchased for $580 million by News Corps. at the height of its popularity in 2005. In recent years, however, MySpace has been losing out in monthly unique visitors to similar sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. According to comScore, an Internet marketing research company that tracks website traffic, Facebook attracted 519 million unique visitors in April of this year, and MySpace just 111 million visitors. In response, MySpace has been recently shifting its focus towards music, games, and videos, and plans to continue doing the same in the near future.

Meanwhile, another failing social network, Bebo, was sold for less than $10 million by AOL to hedge fund firm Criterion Capital Partners this week. AOL acquired Bebo for $850 million in 2008. MySpace's reduced traffic and the departure of another executive have led industry insiders to draw comparisons between the two sites.

In April 2009, DeWolfe stepped down as MySpace's Chief Executive Office (CEO). He was replaced by former Facebook Chief Revenue Officer Owen Van Natta, but Natta held on to that position for just nine months. In February 2010, Hirschhorn was promoted from his position as Chief Product Officer along with Chief Operating Officer Michael Jones to the position of co-president. The departure of Hurschhorn leaves Jones to continue on as sole president. MySpace have said they do not intend on replacing Hirschhorn.