Former top Facebook executive Owen Van Natta has been named CEO of MySpace.
The 39-year-old Van Natta, who was most recently CEO of the online music company Playlist, replaces MySpace co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe.
DeWolfe this week said he was stepping down as part of a management shakeup initiated by Jonathan Miller — News Corp.’s recently installed CEO of digital media/chief digital officer.
At Facebook, Van Natta originally served as COO starting in 2005 and then as chief revenue officer and vp of operations until early 2008. During that stretch, Facebook enjoyed meteoric growth while gradually building out its advertising business. Van Natta is credited with helping to steer Microsoft’s $240 million ’07 investment in Facebook, which resulted in the company’s massive $15 billion valuation at the time.
Van Natta, who also has logged time at Amazon.com, will report to Miller. He’ll be tasked with improving MySpace’s monetization prospects while recapturing the company’s buzz, which has been stolen in recent years by Facebook and, more recently, Twitter.
“Owen combines a deep understanding of social networking, a keen business sense and the operational experience to guide MySpace through its next phase of growth,” said Miller. “I’m confident his leadership will be an invaluable asset.”