NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The musical chairs at MySpace continue. This time co-President Jason Hirshhorn is out, and his partner and co-President Mike Jones will take the sole helm of the troubled social network.
Both execs were promoted as co-presidents after CEO and former Facebook exec Owen Van Natta left the company in February. Mr. Van Natta reportedly clashed with both execs, who were appointed by News Corp. digital chief Jon Miller, who was appointed by Rupert Murdoch more than a year ago to fix the once high-flying web firm.
Back to New York
Mr. Hirschhorn said in a Twitter post that he's eager to return to New York from the Los Angeles area. "Yes, I am moving back to NYC. Concrete jungle where dreams are made. I believe in MySpace, its leader Jonesy and its wonderful team," he wrote.
A spokesperson said MySpace head of sales Nada Stirratt, who joined the social network from MTV Networks in October 2009, will remain. Ms. Stirratt reports to Mr. Jones, while newly hired head of marketing David Donegan reported to Mr. Hirschhorn. Both will now report to Mr. Jones.
Mr. Miller cast the move as a voluntary, and a personal decision of Mr. Hirschhorn's, who just last month gently roasted Mr. Miller at a dinner in his honor thrown by the UJA Federation in New York in May.
"We fully respect Jason's decision to leave and his personal desire to return to New York," Mr. Miller said in a statement. "As many people know, Jason is like family to me, and as expected, he's done everything we asked of him and more."
Mr. Miller said Mr. Jones is "the right person to take the reins," and that there are "no plans to bring in additional management." TechCrunch, which broke the news, reports Mr. Jones will be named CEO.
The departure comes at the beginning of a make-or-break year for MySpace. Traffic and users are plummeting, and the site long ago lost its place as a key arbiter of popular culture. Mr. Hirschhorn and Mr. Jones were tasked with turning it around, and have pursued an aggressive rollout of new products, including a complete relaunch of the site and brand next fall.
To support that, they're seeking an agency to lead a consumer marketing push, the first broad consumer marketing the site has tried.
Global unique visitors to MySpace have fallen from 127 million in April of 2009 to 111 million in April 2010, according to ComScore. In the meantime, global visits to Facebook grew from 307 million to 519 million during the same period.