Groupon has acquired mobile payments company Kima Labs and geolocation technology company Hyperpublic. Kima Labs is known for building the mobile barcode reading app called Barcode Hero and mobile payment app TapBuy. Groupon acquired a New York City based startup company called Hyperpublic, which is a geolocation service with layers of information on it like deals and events.
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Owen Van Natta Posts
If there is anything that Owen Van Natta knows, it is social networking. Van Natta is the former Chief Revenue Officer at Facebook and is the former CEO of MySpace. Social networking gaming company Zynga has hired Van Natta as the EVP of Business. He will be reporting to Zynga CEO Mark Pincus. Before joining Zynga full-time, Pincus has worked at the company as an advisor. Pincus will be managing business operations, customer service, marketing, communications, etc. Van Natta will also monitor company revenues. [TechCrunch]
Jason Hirschhorn has resigned as Co-President of MySpace and Mike Jones is expected to be named CEO soon. Hirschhorn and Jones were named Co-Presidents after Owen Van Natta was fired from the CEO spot. Below is a statement from Digital Chief of News Corp. Jon Miller:
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News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA) has hired Mark Rosenbaum as the CFO of MySpace. Rosenbaum is a former executive at MGM. “Having led companies at every stage of their development, Mark understands both startup culture and mature businesses, and is well suited to guide MySpace’s financial organization through its next phase of growth,” stated MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta. “We’re thrilled to add someone with his pedigree and experience to the team.”
According to paidContent, News Corporation reorganized Fox Interactive Media into News Corp Digital Media. This group will oversee Fox Audience Network, IGN Entertainment, MySpace, Photobucket, Beliefnet, and Fox Mobile Group.
Rosenbaum also previously worked for Gemstar-TV Guide, a former News Corporation property. He also worked at 20th Century FOX and The Walt Disney Company. Rosenbaum received his MBA from Duke University and has a Biology Bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.
In the video above, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg ask newly appointed MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta and newly appointed News Corp. Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller some tough questions.
What makes this interview interesting is when Van Natta was asked what makes MySpace’s strengths and weaknesses are. Van Natta said that MySpace’s strength was that it is a lot more open and people on the network are a lot more interested in sharing information. But the reason why some people may be leaving MySpace for alternatives is because of an innovation issue.
Last week I wrote about how former Facebook co-founder Owen Van Natta will become the new MySpace CEO. Now it appears that News Corporation will be hiring former AOL executive Mike Jones as the COO of the social networking company as well.
“Michael’s operational insight and knowledge of the social media market will prove to be a valuable asset as we set out to evolve the MySpace product offering,” stated Jon Miller, Chief Digital Officer of News Corporation. “From a product perspective, there’s no better choice than Jason, who is highly regarded as an incredibly talented innovator, media executive and leader, all qualities I know will greatly benefit our team and our users.”
Miller is the former head of AOL which is where he most likely met Jones for the first time. I have a feeling that this won’t be the last time that News Corporation will poach executives from AOL. MySpace founders Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe are still negotiating other leadership roles within News Corporation.
News Corporation has also hired Jason Hirschhorn as the new Chief Product Officer of MySpace. Hirschhorn was President of Sling Media Group before attaining this position.
Chris DeWolfe is one of the MySpace creators and was the CEO as of yesterday. Now that he is out of the CEO position, there is a chance that former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta will be recruited. Supposedly Natta left Facebook because he wanted to be CEO, but Zuckerberg did not accept that. Sheryl Sandberg ended up replacing Natta.
Jon Miller is working on the details with Natta according to AllThingsD. News Corp. was not planning to have DeWolfe leave the company but then TechCrunch reported that the company was looking for a replacement. DeWolfe and Miller then started negotiating over the phone. Both MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson will end up on different roles within News Corp.
Below is the internal e-mail sent out to News Corp. (Fox Interactive Media) employees:
To FIM Employees:
I am writing to share the news that MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe will be stepping down from his executive role in the near future. He has agreed to serve as a strategic advisor to the Company and will remain on the board of MySpace China.
In addition, I am currently in discussions with MySpace President Tom Anderson regarding his role within the organization.
I want to take this opportunity to thank them both for their incredible contributions to the Company, and for pioneering one of the greatest social media revolutions of our time. I wish Chris nothing but the best in any new endeavors and, like many in this industry, am eager to witness his next innovations.
I understand the importance of having a dynamic, inspiring and innovative management team, and am dedicated to ensuring that MySpace continues to benefit from the highest levels of passion and enthusiasm.
I also want to thank everyone across FIM for giving me the opportunity to work with all of you. With MySpace, IGN, Photobucket, Fox Audience Network and our Digital Publishing Group, this is an exciting collective of properties and I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead.
I hope to meet and work closely with many of you over the weeks and months to come.