Earlier today, News Corp (NYSE: NWS). announced a change in the role of top security exec Hemu Nigam, responsible for helping MySpace navigate some roiled privacy and child safety waters. Nigam is giving up the title of chief security officer (which will disappear from the News Corp exec roster) and shifting to half-time security adviser so other companies can take advantage of his expertise. A spokeswoman told me most of the heavy lifting was done on the key issues; the rest could managed done part time.
I thought of this when I was reading the memos bouncing around MySpace about the departure of brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi, first reported by Kara. No formal press release for this move, alternately expected and denied for months; some had the serial entrepreneurs out the door as soon as they joined with the acquisition of iLike. Speculation that they would leave escalated when Owen Van Natta’s tenure as CEO ended abruptly only a few months later. He was the top exec when they made the deal last August and the plans to work in senior roles were centered around him as CEO.
According to a memo from co-presidents Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn (embedded below), Hadi, SVP of technology, is severing his ties; Ali, SVP of business development, will go the Nigram route, working as a “strategic advisor” on special projects. They kept their investment portfolio when they joined; they’ll expand their time on investments and no doubt will emerge soon with new ventures of their own. The suggestion is that they agreed to stay on through last week’s launch of MySpace Events, which involves iLike’s ticket technology; sounds as good as anything.
In his memo, posted at AllThingsD, Hadi took a small dig at Jones and Hirschhorn, implying they would have avoided secrecy about leaving but “for the request of our execs.” He also went through a litany of accomplishments, winding up with this: “Most importantly, thanks to our work, MySpace is the #1 provider of music on Facebook, music on Google (NSDQ: GOOG), and Concerts on iPhone. Regardless of any challenges that MySpace needs to overcome, that is a great legacy that I know we