updated 4/22/2009 8:34:35 PM ET 2009-04-23T00:34:35

MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe will step down soon as the social networking site’s chief executive, amid the site’s stalled user growth and the rapid rise of rival Facebook.

MySpace owner News Corp. said Wednesday the decision was made by mutual agreement with former AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller, who was appointed News Corp.’s chief digital officer April 1.

DeWolfe will remain on the board of MySpace China and be a strategic adviser to the company.

Co-founder Tom Anderson, who is every account holder’s first friend on the site and acts as its glitch fixer and president, is also in talks about taking a new role. Anderson is being considered for a creative product role that will take him away from his day-to-day responsibilities, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussion was confidential.

“Chris and Tom are true pioneers,” Miller said in a statement. “Thanks largely to their vision, MySpace has become a vibrant creative community with 130 million passionate followers worldwide.”

Facebook lapped MySpace a year ago in overall users worldwide, and now has 200 million to MySpace’s 130 million.

MySpace is still the largest social network in the United States, with 70 million users in March, but the total was down 4 percent from a year ago, according to tracking firm comScore Inc.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s users in the U.S. rose 72 percent in March to 61 million, comScore said.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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