Three MySpace executives leave to start new company

TechCrunch is reporting drama in the world of MySpace; three of the executives from popular social networking website MySpace are leaving the company, in order to start a new one.

This new company will be lead by current MySpace COO Amit Kapur, as well as Senior VP of Technology Jim Benedetto and Senior VP of Product Strategy Steve Pearman. It wasnt specified what the new company would be, whether its a company that will a run a new social network, or something entirely different.

If youre interested, here is the leaked memo that revealed the news:

From: Chris Dewolfe
Sent: Tuesday, March 03
To: FIM MySpace All

Hi everyone,

I want to notify you of some changes occurring to the senior executive team at MySpace.

Amit Kapur, our Chief Operating Officer, will be leaving the company to start a new venture. Many of us who have been lucky enough to work with Amit can attest to his tenacity, passion, and creativity as a leader within MySpace and the larger industry.

Jim Benedetto, SVP of Engineering and Steve Pearman, SVP of Product Strategy will join Amit in this new chapter. Personally, Im incredibly excited to see what this team creates together and wish them the best of luck as they transition from helping run a company to building a new one. Most importantly, Amit, Jim, and Steve depart as great friends of MySpace and of our senior executive team. They will remain on board for the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition company-wide.

We recently celebrated the five year anniversary of the launch of MySpace—its a major milestone and everyone should be extremely proud of the global business that we have created in such a short amount of time. At its inception, MySpace was a product of the new social Web and in the last few years weve developed the most robust and diverse business in the marketplace.

MySpace is a social portal that empowers its global community to interact with people, content, and culture by giving individuals a personal, portable, and secure social experience. Originally, Yahoo gave consumers an organized way of navigating the Internet. Then, Google made searching the Internet extremely easy. Now, MySpace is making it simple for users to organize whats important to them through a personal and social lens.

Despite what the market tells us, 2009 will be a big year for our business. This year we will mature our existing market leading advertising technologies such as MyAds and HyperTargeting, as well as continue to innovate new ways for companies big and small to best leverage the MySpace platform. We are effectively monetizing the stickiest sections of our site such as Music and Video by coupling the worlds richest content offering with creative ad programming online and off. What will always differentiate MySpace from others in the industry is our commitment to balancing revenue and relevancy.

On the product side, this past year was full of innovation including a site-wide global redesign, the impressive growth of our mobile initiatives, and the beginnings of our Open Platform product suite including MySpaceID. Were at the tip of the iceberg with the Open Platform and in the coming year we expect major new launches including payments and virtual goods. Also in 2009, MySpace Music will deliver the next round of product development such its international rollout, and new functionality including charts, ticketing, and merchandise. Most important, we will remain committed to executing on our product vision in a manner that engages our users in the process and considers their feedback every step of the way.

Tom and I want to reiterate how passionate we are about MySpace—we love the people, the product, and we believe in the future of the company. MySpace has a dedicated team of senior executives and Id like to take the opportunity to spotlight some of these individuals. I encourage everyone to get to know our executive team as they are an enormously capable group of professionals from successful media and Internet powerhouses such as eBay, Yahoo!, MTV, and Symantec that will lead our company into its next phase.

MySpace Executive Team:

· Tom Anderson—President and Co-Founder

· Aber Whitcomb—Chief Technology Officer

· Travis Katz—GM and SVP of MySpace International

· Courtney Holt—President of MySpace Music

· Jeff Berman—President of Sales and Marketing

· Lin Cherry—General Counsel

· Tom Andrus—SVP of Product

· Manu Thapar—SVP of Engineering Operations

· Allen Hurff—SVP of Engineering

· Tish Whitcraft—SVP of Customer Care

· Jason Oberfest—SVP of Business Development

· Angela Courtin—SVP of Marketing

· Abe Thomas—VP of Online Marketing

· Dani Dudeck—VP of Global Corporate Communications

In a tough economy, were continuing to prove to the industry that were a serious business defining a new social portal category for a Web thats more personal, portable, and collaborative than ever before. Thanks everyone for a record breaking year 2008—the coming year will be even more important for the company and our 130 million global users worldwide.



The announcements shouldnt affect MySpaces operation at all, as declared in the memo, so things will be fine for members of the site. Also, its unclear as to why these executives are leaving; there doesnt appear to be any disagreements high up in the company, so perhaps they just felt the need for change.

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