Bitter reports from the 500 employees MySpace laid off early this week have been flooding TechCrunch. There were accounts of lazy managers who managed to keep their jobs by sacrificing their underlings.There were stories about CEO Mike Jones driving hundreds of people to work "20 hour days, even 48 hour sleepless stints, for a company that everyone else in the world said was dead," fueled by coffee and inspirational words like, "Do you believe in this company or not?" (We're guessing the latter.) The reason for all those sleepless nights was MySpace's relaunch as a "social entertainment portal" (presumably a different one than YouTube, Hulu, etc.). Both the new look and the massive layoffs were designed to make News Corp.'s struggling property look better to prospective investors as Rupert Murdoch tries to sell. In fact, rumor has it that if a buyer isn't found by summer, MySpace will be shut down entirely. Industry consensus seems to be why wait?
In the meantime, CEO Mike Jones's leaked so-long-and-thanks-for-playing letter, which was disseminated Xeroxed and unsigned, isn't helping to win back public sympathy.
Although we can’t continue on this journey together — I hope you will all stay connected with MySpace and know that your contribution to the business was a unique moment in time and that you participated in something that few have been part of in our industry.
Sure, reframing the panicked rush to resuscitate a dying brand as a special tech experience is insulting. But to us, the more ludicrous notion seems to be his request that they stay connected to MySpace. Even those lazy managers must have switched over to Facebook by now.