Yesterday Mike Arrington broke the news that MySpace could be laying up to 5 percent of their staff. While Amit Kapur claimed that the layoffs were “performance driven”, the news still generated some negative buzz for the company. Then last night, MySpace issued a press release announcing that they company hired five new executives (one of which, Jason Oberfest, will be speaking at the upcoming Social Ad Summit).
As Caroline McCarthy points out, the timing couldn’t have been more coincidental. When did these new hires come on board exactly? Who knows, but MySpace decided to issue a press release late last night about it. Manu Thapur, the former Vice President of Engineering at Yahoo!, will become the Senior Vice President of Engineering at MySpace. Angela Courtin, the ex-Vice President of Integrated Marketing for MTV Networks, will become Senior Vice President of Marketing, Entertainment, and Content for MySpace.
Tish Whitcraft will be responsible for building out global support for MySpace and Abe Thomas will serve as Vice President of Online Marketing for MySpace. Finally, Jason Oberfest who previously worked for the LA Times will be leading Business Development at MySpace. As I noted earlier, Jason will also be speaking at our inaugural Social Ad Summit on September 15th in New York City.
As I mentioned earlier, the timing of this announcement makes it pretty clear that MySpace is trying to quell some of the negative buzz generated by Mike Arrington’s article yesterday. These employees could have been working at the company for the past month and only have been announced today.