MySpace, as part of their continuing effort to define themselves in the face of Facebook, has hired Manu Rekhi, a former Strategy and Business Development Executive from Lolapps, as their new GM of MySpace Games and Developer Platform. Manu is a great acquisition for the company, as he’s been working in the space as long as its existed. We chatted with him a few months ago about his latest work with Lolapps, and the discussion was insightful and revolved around how he properly leveraged a partnership with Electronic Arts to create the Dante’s Inferno Facebook game.
Before working with Lolapps, Manu uwas a product manager at Google, and worked with several of their key franchises. Most notably, he launched the OpenSocial platform and helped with GMail, Calendar, Orkut and Google Ads. He has a B.S. from Boston University and a joint MBA from Columbia Business School and Haas School of Business.
The move gives MySpace some key relationships with social games developers, and also the leadership of someone who understands what social games developers want. MySpace’s traffic is decreasing, but if they were able to convert the site into something like OMGPOP.com, they could theme the social network as a social gaming network, kind of like a place to play. That would incent their users to think of MySpace as an amusement park, and that would differentiate it from MySpace. In my opinion, battling head to head as a social network is not going to fly with the surge of Facebook, and converting in that way would be wise. They’ve hinted at attempts to make such a transformation for games and music in the past, but with Manu’s leadership perhaps we’ll see something more drastic.