Bitterness, Anger And Betrayal At MySpace

An email from a reader claiming to be a MySpace employee about the layoffs today that left half of the company out of work. These things are part of life, but the bitterness, anger and feeling of betrayal are striking.

As recently as Nov 18th, Mike Jones, the now CEO of Myspace, sat in front of the entire company, thanking them for their extraordinary efforts to help launch the \”new Myspace\” (known internally as Futura), inspiring them by telling them they had done something that had never been done in the history of the Internet – that is, relaunch a company with the size and history of Myspace.

He and his executive team had just somehow driven hundreds of people to work hard for months, giving 20 hour days, even 48 hour sleepless stints, for a company that everyone else in the world said was dead. All along, motivating the team with statements like \”do you believe in this company or not?\”, \”either you\’re in or not\”, and \”look at what we can do when we do it together\”.

When asked in that all hands meeting about the ominous words of the News Corp CFO only days earlier that Myspace was \”unsustainable\”, Jones reassured those loyal, hard working employees that News corp was \”on board\” with the plan to relaunch Myspace as \”social entertainment\”, and he had been promised they would have patience and give the new site time to be successful before making changes.

As it turns out, Mr. Jones and his lieutenants knowingly *used* their employees, working them hard, making them give up time with their friends and families, knowing all along that no matter how hard they worked, and how successful their efforts, many of them would be rewarded with layoffs. At the same time, the Myspace execs that were in charge as the company continued the rapid, downward spiral – which led to the company being \”unsustainable\” and forced to lay off 47% of their staff – were all being rewarded with new deals (including Jones becoming CEO), including raises and promotions.

Further, instead of working as hard as they, themselves, possibly could to save the company and save the jobs of the people they claimed to appreciate so much, the executive team was busy plotting secret back-room deals to prevent a sale of Myspace by News Corp and to instead spin out Myspace into their control (likely taking most of the equity and giving themselves more personal gain), and at the same time were busy not doing their jobs, but instead occupying valuable company resources building stealth projects (such as project Burn) they hope will be the \”future\” of Myspace world in their delusional world where almost everyone is gone and they have taken over the company.

After the dust settles, the people who were in charge and responsible for the continued failure will still be in charge, with new titles and raises, clearly intent on taking as much personal value as they can from the company before it dies completely at their hands. And the hard working, loyal employees that worked their butts off, took time away from their families to *actually* try to turn the company around by building and launching the new Myspace, will be looking for jobs.

Some will say this is life in a big company, but size has nothing to do with it. This is life in a failed company, in the hands of leadership lacking competence and ethics, and motivated primarily by personal gain. This is nothing short of negligence, unfortunately short of criminal – for which News Corp needs to be held responsible, and hold responsible the very executives they are rewarding for being in charge of this travesty.