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The Very Last Person Owen Van Natta Screwed Over At Playlist: Jason Bitensky

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I continue to be fascinated by Owen Van Natta’s abrupt departure from Project Playlist, the company he ran for five whole months before becoming the CEO of the much more exciting MySpace.

Emails have been flying in from company CEOs who say Van Natta, with a promise of “massive funding from China,” offered to acquire them (there was no funding). Playlist employees, speaking off the record, are in shock. And worst of all, Van Natta recruited a number of executives, including one, ironically, from MySpace, on the promise that he’d lead the company to a win. Which he definitely would have done, if he hadn’t been interviewing non stop for other jobs since nearly the very day he was announced to head up Playlist.

We’ll post the full list of the down and out executives soon. But among the saddest stories is Jason Bitensky, who joined Project Playlist today as Director of National Sales. Bitensky, a former Slide executive, was heavily recruited by Van Natta for months, says a source, and he finally agreed a couple of weeks ago to resign from his current position at Nabbr and join Van Natta at Playlist. Unfortunately, he gave his notice to Nabbr before the news broke that Van Natta was jumping ship, putting him in an awkward position, to say the least.

The fact that Van Natta was making promises to potential executives at the same time he was planning to bail on the company is inexcusable, and says a lot about his character. This guy is all about one person – himself – and is apparently quite willing to use, and hurt, others to get what he wants.

Bitensky won’t comment on this story, and an email to Playlist hasn’t been returned yet. Bitensky hasn’t announced his new position, but an email to him at Nabbr returned an automated response that gave his new email address at Playlist. He must be thrilled about leaving his old job.

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