It’s official and confirmed by Boomtown’s Kara Swisher that MySpace’s new CEO will be Owen Van Natta.
My Angle: I think that this is a great move for MySpace to bring in someone who is "chomping at the bit" to be a big time CEO. Recently he was passed over (not appreciated) at Facebook – so the guy is young, hungry, and motivated. This should be a good move for MySpace.
Where I see Owen Van Natta really making an impact is with his deal making skills and his insight into what makes good business development deals.
MySpace has been getting a bad rap lately from the lack of innovation on the product side and the lack of scalable monetization. Personally I think the monetization isn’t a big deal to slam them on due to the current market climate. However the product side is sorely lacking.
MySpace needs to figure out what to build themselves and what to outsource. More importantly on the future revenue side or monetization side (something we think about a lot here at SiliconAngle), MySpace needs to create a prosperous and thriving ecosystem of partners (both developers and business partners).
Translation: MySpace needs to make money for their partners. This is the key to MySpace and if they do this they can "make the market" something Facebook and Apple have been doing with developers.
Here are some bits from News Corps press release:
Los Angeles, CA, April 24, 2009 – News Corporation today announced the appointment of Owen Van Natta to the role of MySpace Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Mr. Van Natta will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to Jonathan Miller, News Corporation’s CEO of Digital Media and Chief Digital Officer.
A highly-regarded digital executive, Mr. Van Natta, 39, previously served as Chief Revenue Officer and Vice President of Operations for Facebook, where he helped negotiate Facebook’s $240 million investment from Microsoft. Earlier, he served as Vice President of Worldwide Business and Corporate Development for Amazon.com. Most recently, he was the CEO of Playlist, Inc., an online music company.
“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. I’m confident his leadership will be an invaluable asset,” said Mr. Miller. “I plan to work closely with Owen to shape our long-term vision around this vibrant community that already attracts more than 130 million users worldwide.”
“I’m thrilled to have the privilege to pilot MySpace in what is sure to be an incredibly exciting and rewarding next chapter for the business,” said Mr. Van Natta. “I feel honored to build upon the immeasurable achievements of the MySpace founders and look forward to working with Jon and the MySpace team to meet the challenges and make the most of the opportunities before us.”
The press release says that he’ll be in LA. Owen is a local boy here in Palo Alto so I wonder if he will move his family or commute?