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Van Natta outta there

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After less than a year at the helm of MySpace, Owen Van Natta is stepping down as the social network's CEO, effective immediately.

News Corp - MySpace's parent company - announced the change late Wednesday.

Van Natta will be replaced by co-presidents Mike Jones and Jason Hirschorn, who will report to News Corp Digital Media overlord, Jonathan Miller. Both the succeeding MySpace executives joined the ailing social network in April shortly after Van Natta's appointment.

"Owen took an incredible challenge in working to refocus and revitalize MySpace, and the business has shown very positive signs recently as a result of his dedicated work," said Miller in a prepared statement. "However, in talking to Owen about his priorities both personally and professionally going forward, we both agreed that it was best for him to step down at this time."

Van Natta added his somewhat terse sendoff statement to the announcement, calling the social network "an incredibly unique place" and citing "real gains in terms of product focus and user experience."

His exit follows rumors that both he and Hirschorn were were looking for a way out of the internet firm as it continues to slip into irrelevancy next to the explosive growth of Facebook. ®

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