Murdoch takeover trashed Myspace to the tune of $15bn, says former CEO

Myspace co-founder and former chief executive Chris deWolfe has railed against Rupert Murdoch’s handling of the social network after it was bought by Murdoch’s News Corporation.

deWolfe said that News Corp had squandered $15bn (£9.3bn) of shareholders’ money after the firm focused on short-term survival rather than long-term investment.

Speaking to the Telegraph, deWolfe said: “[Murdoch] made a big blunder in announcing our potential revenues. He went to [Wall] Street and said, ‘Myspace will do $1bn of revenue and $250m in profit’. The same year [2007], Facebook lost $250m on zero in revenue. They were building user experience while we were forced to muck up ours.”

News Corp had originally shelled out $580m for Myspace in 2005, at a time when it was a bigger network than Facebook. It subsequently sold it on in 2011 to a consortium led by Justin Timberlake after the site’s popularity waned.

Murdoch has admitted that News Corp has learned a “valuable, expensive lesson” after they “screwed up Myspace in every way possible”.  

In a bizarre twist, deWolf gained unwanted media attention after rumours circulated for years that he was having an affair with Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng, whom Murdoch is now divorcing. Speaking to the Telegraph, deWolf denied that this had happened.

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