MySpace COO Amit Kapur apparently meant it when he told me earlier today that MySpace is continuing to hire despite letting 5% or so of staff go in the coming days. He introduced five new senior executives this evening via an email out to all staff, the text of which was forwarded to me and is copied below.
The new execs are Manu Thapar, SVP of Engineering (formerly Yahoo VP Engineering), Angela Courtin, SVP of Marketing, Tish Whitcraft, SVP of Customer Care, Jason Oberfest, VP of Business Development and Abe Thomas, VP of Online Marketing.
All of the new execs seems to be eating the MySpace dog food by at least having a presence on MySpace. Except former Yahoo’er Thapar, that is. He’s MySpace-free for now. I wonder how long that will last.
Email is after the break:
MySpace has been on a hyper-growth track since our launch in January 2004. We’ve evolved into a stable, profitable business with amazing talent driving one of the most trafficked websites in history. Four years ago we started at a small office in Santa Monica with a few employees, and now we operate offices in 19 countries across the globe and support 29 localized communities across the web.
Today we’re pleased to announce several new senior team members joining MySpace:
· Manu Thapar, SVP of Engineering
· Angela Courtin, SVP of Marketing
· Tish Whitcraft, SVP of Customer Care
· Jason Oberfest, VP of Business Development
· Abe Thomas, VP of Online Marketing
Looking back, this has been an incredible year of innovation and expansion—in the last few months, we have successfully developed and launched a number of major company initiatives strengthening our leadership position in the future of the social web. All of you have played a big role in keeping MySpace in the driver’s seat of innovation.
Here are some of the initiatives we’ve rolled this year:
· MySpace Developer Platform
· Site Redesign
· Data Availability
· Formation of the MySpace Music Joint Venture
· MySpace Support for OpenID
· OpenSocial launch with Google, Yahoo and others
· Implementation of Google Gears for Mail Messaging and Sort
Looking ahead, there’s a lot more to come—this is going to be a big year!
Meet Our New Team Members:
Manu Thapar, SVP of Engineering
Manu Thapar serves as the SVP of Engineering for MySpace, the world’s premier social network. In this role Manu is responsible for overseeing the company’s infrastructure, security and high priority projects, as well creating an offshore development team for MySpace.
Prior to joining MySpace, Manu served as Vice President of Engineering for Yahoo!, Inc. where he was Responsible for software infrastructure engineering, operations, test, product and program management teams of more than 250 engineers. Manu also served as Sr. Director of Engineering for Cisco Systems where he oversaw all aspects of delivering large scale network products used by high end customers for the development of sophisticated enterprise web sites.
Manu earned his PhD from Stanford University’s esteemed school of engineering in 1992.
Angela Courtin, SVP Marketing (www.myspace.com/acourtin )
Angela Courtin serves as SVP of Marketing for MySpace, the world’s premiere social network. In this newly created role, Angela is responsible for leading the marketing, branding, promotions, events, content and entertainment teams for MySpace with the objective of increasing growth and public awareness and driving revenue through marketing programs for the company.
Prior to Joining MySpace Angela served as Vice President, Integrated Marketing, for MTV Networks, responsible for overseeing the West Coast department. In this role she served as the liaison with production and series development as well as the West Coast client base.
An accomplished, creative, and vision-oriented marketing executive, Angela has developed key relationships with clients and production to create rich product integrations, branded entertainment and game-changing marketing executions. Her background in development and production have been key in understanding the creative dynamic in achieving authentic integration experiences for the audience, the client and the narrative.
Angela also served as Associate Producer on HBO’s Big Love and also worked for Knollwood Productions in Development. Her MTV trajectory would intersect in 2004 when she served as Vice President of Rock the Vote, where she partnered with MTV’s Choose or Lose campaign and corporate America to bring civic participation and voter empowerment to young people across the country. Her work in politics spans the beltway, from the Human Rights Campaign to the Democratic National Committee.
Her work was recognized in 2004 in Out Magazine’s OUT 100, the annual list of the year’s most interesting, influential, and newsworthy LGBT people. Angela earned a B.S in Civil Engineering and an MBA from Oklahoma State University.
Tish Whitcraft, SVP of Customer Care (www.myspace.com/tishwhitcraft)
Tish Whitcraft recently joined MySpace as SVP of Customer Care responsible for delivering a world-class user experience to the 250 million + MySpace users. In her new role, she will be responsible for building scalable global customer support, user experience and satisfaction and driving the user feedback loop back to the business. In addition, Tish will focus on building and implementing a new online self-help strategy which will allow MySpace users to get answers and help by delivering more accurate and relevant information right when users need it and want it.
Most recently, Tish served as Vice President of Global Customer Experience and Operations at ooma, a consumer voip start-up, where she had overall P&L responsibilities including day-to-day business operations, business development, marketing and sales and product development. The primary focus was to ensure the highest quality customer experience from product to post-sales. Prior to joining ooma, Tish served as the leader and operational executive responsible for Global Customer Operations and Customer Experience at online giant Yahoo! Inc., leading customer care and experience for Yahoo!’s 850 million users in 48 markets across 68 different product categories.
With extensive experience in the communications and outsourcing sectors, prior to ooma and Yahoo!, Tish has held executive management positions with inServ e-Customer Solutions, Aegis Communications, Lexi International, and Communique Telecommunications. At Aegis, Tish served as COO and Senior Vice President of Operations, overseeing the P&L for this $250M outsourcing firm, servicing communication, technology, software and financial service industries with clients such as ATT, Macromedia, SBC, Nextel, Directv and the Dish Network, IBM, Toshiba and American Express.
Jason Oberfest, VP of Business Development (www.myspace.com/joberfest)
Jason Oberfest serves as Vice President of Business Development for MySpace, the world’s premier social network. In this role, Jason is responsible for structuring and negotiating deals to drive revenue and support the launch of innovative new products. Alongside the company’s business development team, Jason oversees the commercial aspects of the MySpace Developer Platform and MySpace’s Data Availability APIs.
Prior to MySpace Jason served as Managing Director of Business Development and Product Management for Los Angeles Times Interactive. In this role Jason launched a redesign of latimes.com and structured deals with leading startups including Netvibes, Aggregate Knowledge, Eventful and Mixx.com.
From 1999-2005 Jason served as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Blast Radius, an interactive agency. In this role Jason founded the strategic planning division of the company and led the design and development of media and commerce websites for Sony, Nintendo, Viacom, Warner Music Group, A&E Television Networks and others. Jason worked with AOL from 2002-2005 developing AOL Shopping, AOL Search, AOL.com, and other products. Blast Radius was acquired by the WPP Group in 2007.
Abe Thomas, VP of Online Marketing (www.myspace.com/abethomas08)
Abe Thomas serves as Vice President of Online Marketing for MySpace, the world’s premier social network. In this role Abe is responsible for developing the overall strategy for acquiring new customers through online advertising, affiliates and search marketing. Working closely with the company’s creative group, database engineers and product marketing teams Abe spearheads companywide initiatives geared towards driving loyalty from existing customers through email, direct mail and on the website, using effective segmentation and promotional strategies and tactics.
In 2006, Abe spent a year in Mumbai, India leading eBay India’s Internet Marketing team. With Google still in its infancy in India, successful optimization of eBay’s Search program resulted in a high representation of eBay pages in Google’s Paid Search program and Google’s Natural Search results.
In Jan 2007, Abe moved to PayPal Merchant Services where he was focused on marketing PayPal to our largest merchants.
Prior to joining eBay, Abe held multiple business development, product marketing and consulting positions at AltaVista, Palm, IBM Consulting and Motorola.
Abe received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a MSEE from USC and then an MBA from the University of Chicago. He lives in San Jose with his wife and two girls aged 3 and 6. He loves playing Basketball, Cricket, cooking and spending time with his kids.