Myspace Music President Courtney Holt is leaving the company, Billboard.biz has confirmed.
AllThingsD's MediaMemo first broke the news, which sources close to the situation have confirmed to Billboard.biz. We've since obtained the copy of the internal memo that went out announcing the move (see below).
The date for his effective departure has not been determined. Sources told Billboard.biz that the transition process will begin sometime after SXSW, and be complete by June. He will remain in some sort of consulting/advisory role to both Myspace and NewsCorp, according to the memo, and will continue to serve on the board.
Sources said Holt was the one who initiated the departure, stemming from his unhappiness with the strategic direction taken by Myspace CEO Mike Jones for the company's future. The company's impending sale is also a factor. One source described him as "miserable."
Jones will assume oversight of the music unit in the interim, with Myspace Music senior VP Sam Wick overseeing marketing. Whether Myspace seeks out someone new to take on the role remains to be seen.
It took Myspace almost a year to hire Holt, after a lengthy executive search. Any candidate would have to be approved by the Myspace Music joint venture, which includes members from each of the four major labels. Of course, that process could be complicated further should Myspace eventually be sold. It's likely that Myspace won't find anyone from outside the company to take the job until the company's status is more clear.
As for Holt, it's not yet known where he's going. His name has been bandied about a bit as a possible head of the in-development Google Music service, but it doesn't seem as if he'd stepping down an Myspace Music to take that job.
Below is the text of the internal e-mail that went out announcing his departure, from Jones:
"I wanted to let everyone know that Courtney Holt's role in the company will soon be changing. Over the next several weeks, he will be moving from being the President of Myspace Music to becoming a key advisor to both Myspace and Newscorp. Courtney will provide guidance on the strategic direction of Myspace Music and lend his incredible depth of experience, industry expertise and creativity to Myspace and Myspace Music. Additionally, Courtney will continue to serve on the board of Myspace Music.
¨Sam Wick will now oversee all of marketing for Myspace and operationally I will be taking over as the interim president of Myspace Music."