MySpace co-President Jason Hirschhorn has resigned, marking the second CEO change in less than six months at the struggling social networking company owned by News Corp. (NWS).
Hirschhorn, who was named co-President with Mike Jones in February, resigned for personal reasons, expressing a desire to return to New York, the company stated Thursday. In addressing Hirschhorn's departure, News Corp. Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller said:
As many people know, Jason is like family to me, and as expected, he's done everything we asked of him and more. We're incredibly grateful for the passion and enthusiasm he brought to the company. And as I know Jason agrees, Mike Jones has done an outstanding job leading MySpace into its next evolution and is the right person to take the reins. There are no plans to bring in additional management.
MySpace has been paring down its executive ranks. Hirschhorn, Jones and former CEO Owen Van Natta were all brought in April of last year, with the company aiming to refocus and revitalize the social networking site that was losing ground to rival Facebook. Hirschhorn initially joined the company as its chief product officer and Jones as chief operating officer.
But despite bringing together its A-team, MySpace continued to flag. In November, the company took an estimated $100 million hit when it failed to meet high traffic guarantees. On top of that, earlier this year its internal traffic count appeared weaker than was stated on its site by a substantial margin.
Struggling to Compete With Facebook
All of this isn't likely to lead to warm and fuzzy feelings between MySpace and its owner News Corp., which acquired the company in 2005 for $580 million. But MySpace is not alone in facing a rough go as a social networking site in the shadow of Facebook.
AOL (AOL), for example, announced Thursday it sold its social networking site Bebo to Criterion Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. AOL, which purchased the site for $850 million, reportedly sold it for a little above $2.5 million. Like MySpace, Bebo had been struggling. [DailyFinance is owned by Aol.]