Former Facebook exec Van Natta to be MySpace CEO

Apr 24, 2009 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- With MySpace falling behind Facebook as the world's largest online social network, MySpace tapped a former Facebook executive as its new CEO on Friday.

Owen Van Natta, 39, replaces Chris DeWolfe, a co-founder of , who stepped down as head as chief executive Wednesday. News Corp., which owns MySpace, said Van Natta's new role begins immediately.

At , Van Natta was chief operating officer and helped negotiate a $240 million investment from Corp. that valued the site at $15 billion - though it later emerged that Facebook placed its value well below that.

With Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg ensconsed as the site's CEO, Van Natta left in February 2008 in hopes of landing the top job at another company. Later in the year he became CEO of Playlist.com, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based online music company.

On Friday, Playlist named John Sykes, a board member, as the company's CEO and said Van Natta will be adviser to the company. Sykes is a co-founder of MTV and has been president of VH1.

MySpace's other co-founder, Tom Anderson, had been president of the company and has been in talks about taking on a new role. News Corp. did not give an update on that Friday.

Facebook declined to comment on Van Natta's appointment.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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