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Jason Hirschhorn, co-president of MySpace and the man meant to rebuild the social networking site, is leaving the company.

News Corporation's chief digital officer Jon Miller said the company respected his decision and his desire to return to New York. Miller gushed: "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 was bought for $580m by Murdoch's News Corporation back in 2005. The site, once the main player in social networks, has struggled to compete with Facebook or find another niche ever since the takeover.

As well as losing audience the site has lost the love of developers - Facebook's myriad games and applications are one of the reasons it remains, for now, so popular.

MySpace has struggled to keep the loyalty of users or to hit financial targets. But if the buy wasn't Murdoch's best ever deal, at least he didn't buy Bebo.

AOL paid $850m for the almost-forgotten networking site for kids. It was sold yesterday for "an exceptionally uninspiring number", believed to be around $10m.

Hirschhorn had been charged with reinvigorating MySpace and making it relevant again. He was previously at Sling Media - makers of the Slingbox - and before that he was chief digital officer at MTV. ®

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