MySpace on Wednesday said it has expanded its senior executive staff with five new hires, including two former employees of Yahoo and one from eBay.
The names and titles of the new executives are Manu Thapar, senior VP of engineering; Angela Courtin, senior VP of marketing; Tish Whitcraft, senior VP of customer care; Jason Oberfest, VP of business development; and Abe Thomas, VP of online marketing. Thapar and Whitcraft had worked at Yahoo, Courtin at MTV Networks, Oberfest at The Los Angeles Times, and Thomas at eBay.
MySpace, which is owned by News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, said the new employees were "additions to the company's expanding senior executive team." MySpace, which launched four years ago, now has more than 117 million users worldwide and offices in 19 countries and 29 localized sites across the Web, according to the company.
"We're thrilled that these incredibly talented individuals are joining our team and know they will propel our business even further and assert our leadership role in the future of the social Web," Amit Kapur, chief operating officer for MySpace, said in a statement.
News of the new hires came a day after the blog TechCrunch reported that MySpace had begun laying off people. Kapur told the site that less than 5% of the workforce would be let go, and the firings were entirely performance driven. He said all the fired workers would be replaced.
Thapar, who was VP of engineering at Yahoo, will be in charge of MySpace's infrastructure, security, and high-priority projects. He also will be responsible for creating an offshore development team for MySpace.
Whitcraft, who also worked at Yahoo, but more recently served as VP of customer experience for Ooma, a consumer Internet telephony startup, will be responsible for building a scalable global customer-support operation and driving user feedback back to the business.
Courtin, who was VP of integrated marketing at MTV, will be responsible for leading MySpace's marketing, branding, promotions, events, content, and entertainment teams.
Oberfest, who was managing director of business development for Los Angeles Times Interactive, will be in charge of structuring and negotiating deals to drive revenue and support the launch of new products at MySpace.
Thomas, who managed eBay India's Internet marketing team, will be responsible for developing the overall strategy for acquiring new customers through online advertising, affiliates, and search marketing.