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New MySpace CEO May Be Ex-Facebook Exec

News Corp. (NWS - Get Report) was completing a deal to name former Facebook Chief Operating Officer Owen Van Natta as MySpace CEO to succeed co-founder Chris DeWolfe who is stepping down, a report says.

The decision by DeWolfe to step down was made by mutual agreement with former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller, who was appointed News Corp.'s chief digital officer April 1, News Corp. said in a statement Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reports Van Natta would replace DeWolfe and report to Miller.

Spokeswomen for News Corp. and MySpace both declined to comment for the Journal beyond a press release. DeWolfe and Van Natta couldn't be reached for comment.

MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson also is in talks about taking a new role. Anderson is being considered for a creative product role that will take him away from his day-to-day responsibilities, said a person with knowledge of the situation, the Associated Press reports.

Miller said a new management structure will be announced soon.

Facebook lapped MySpace a year ago in overall users worldwide, and now has 200 million to MySpace's 130 million.

MySpace is still the largest social network in the United States, but membership appears to have stagnated. It had 70 million users in March, down 4% from a year ago, according to tracking firm comScore, despite the launch of the MySpace Music service in September.

Meanwhile, Facebook's users in the U.S. rose 72% in March to 61 million.

DeWolfe is expected to move onto a new startup, following the path of several executives who left MySpace last month, including former Chief Operating Officer Amit Kapur.
Copyright 2008 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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