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Fri, Apr 24, 2009 - Page 10 News List

MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe to step down as CEO

AFP , SAN FRANCISCO

MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe is stepping down as chief executive of the social network, MySpace owner News Corp said on Wednesday.

News Corp’s new chief digital officer Jonathan Miller said that “by mutual agreement, Mr DeWolfe will not be renewing his contract and will be stepping down in the near future.”

In a statement, News Corp also said that Miller was “in discussions” with MySpace president Tom Anderson to have him “assuming a new role in the organization.”

News Corp said that DeWolfe would continue to serve on the board of MySpace China and be a strategic adviser to the company.

“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. “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.”

Anderson and DeWolfe are credited with creating MySpace, which launched in 2003 and was bought by News Corp in 2005 for US$580 million.

Miller called Anderson and DeWolfe “true pioneers” and credited them with building MySpace into a “vibrant creative community” with 130 million followers worldwide.

Miller said a new management structure for MySpace would be announced “in the near future.”

Rumors that DeWolfe and Anderson would be dethroned began circulating earlier this year as MySpace logged a drop in the number of users while its young rival Facebook posted gains.

Facebook replaced MySpace last year as the world’s most popular social-networking Web site and industry figures show Facebook has been widening its lead. Facebook welcomed its 200 millionth user last week.

US software giant Microsoft bought a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook in 2007 for US$240 million, valuing the social network on paper at US$15 billion.

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