The entrepreneurial Partovi brothers are stepping away from MySpace after it acquired their social music sharing startup iLike last year. Hadi is leaving MySpace entirely, while Ali (pictured here) will serve as a strategic adviser, down from a full-time role.

MySpace says Hadi, who was the company’s senior vice president of technology, will be focusing on advising and angel investing in startups, along with his non-profit work.

The move isn’t surprising, and shouldn’t be taken as a direct judgment on MySpace’s future. The two brothers, who have successfully scaled and sold several startups, had little long-term incentive to stay at the social network. The two have a DropBox, Opower and an early-stage Facebook investment between them. That’s not to mention earlier investments in Zappos, and the fact that Hadi co-founded TellMe, which sold to Microsoft for $800 million and Ali co-founded LinkExchange, which also sold to Microsoft for $265 million.

iLike’s team was behind the new events and calendaring system MySpace unveiled last week. Most the engineers that came with the acquisition are still at the company, we hear.

Here are their memos, first published on AllThingsD:

From: Hadi Partovi
Date: Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 5:15 PM
Subject: Fwd: Organizational Update (re Ali + Hadi)
To: staff
Cc: Ali Partovi

Hey everybody, it’s been super tough staying quiet about this news at the request of our execs. I know some of you are very surprised about this, and I want to apologize for not having had the option to brief you personally in advance.

I also want to call out looking backwards that we’ve all done a heck of a lot in just the last 6 months to help improve the MySpace business and to integrate iLike technology. Just a short list is below.

– iLike integrated MySpace Music into Google search (iLike provided the team, technology, and Google deal)
– iLike team+technology helped implement MySpace Events, launched with multi-million-dollar sponsorship commitments
– all traffic has been merged into MySpace’s overall Comscore metrics
– iLike’s products have been featured in a TV ad by Apple, and will be in an upcoming TV ad by another major tech company
– iLike’s promotional engine has been used multiple times in coordination with MSM to promote new albums or new artists
– MSM videos have been integrated into and iLike on Facebook
– iLike’s artist-stats are integrated into the MySpace artist dashboard
– drives search engine traffic to MySpace artist pages
– iLike team implemented the imeem traffic redirection and data backend of imeem playlist integration
– iLike team provided backend metadata + recommendation engine for MySpace music search and song-similarities

Most importantly, thanks to our work, MySpace is the #1 provider of music on Facebook, music on Google, and Concerts on iPhone. Regardless of any challenges that MySpace needs to overcome, that is a great legacy that I know we’re all proud of.

I’m personally very sad that I won’t be working with any of you–the amazing team we built at iLike is perhaps our greatest accomplishment.

I’ll send an email to the Seattle folks to organize a proper going-away celebration :)


From: Mike Jones
Date: Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 4:52 PM
Subject: Organizational Update
Cc: Jason Hirschhorn

Hi everyone,

Effective on Friday, MySpace SVP of Technology Hadi Partovi is leaving to pursue other opportunities. In addition to continuing his work as an advisor and angel investor to various startups, he will be following his passion for education by working directly with technology focused non-profits. Hadi leaves as a valued friend to the company, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Ali Partovi will be stepping down as SVP of Business Development, but will continue working with MySpace as a strategic advisor working on special projects. He will also be taking time to invest in and advise startups.

Hadi and Ali were instrumental in integrating iLike’s best in class technology into the MySpace brand. Last week’s successful Events launch was a direct result of that collaboration. Other noteworthy product integrations include last year’s Google Music Search integration and the Local Concerts App, which is currently the most downloaded concerts app for the iPhone and was featured in one of Apple’s latest iPhone TV spots.

Please join us in thanking Ali and Hadi for their contributions to MySpace.

-Jason & Mike