Sun. May 22nd, 2022
Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel leaves Meta board

Peter Thiel was an early investor in Facebook and has been on the board since 2005.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Peter Thiel, one of the earliest investors in Facebook and a board member since 2005, is leaving the company’s board. Thiel won’t stand for reelection at the 2022 annual meeting, Meta said Monday.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal in 1998, will instead “devote his time to other interests,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

“Peter has been a valuable member of our board and I’m deeply grateful for everything he has done for our company — from believing in us when few others would, to teaching me so many lessons about business, economics and the world,” Zuckerberg added in a statement. 

Thiel, who is a vocal Trump supporter and reportedly argued in favor of Facebook allowing politicians to lie in political ads on the social network back in 2019, will focus instead on helping Trump-aligned Republican candidates in the midterms this year, according to The New York Times citing an anonymous source. Meta declined to comment further.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s intelligence, energy and conscientiousness are tremendous. His talents will serve Meta well as he leads the company into a new era,” Thiel said in a statement.

Thiel had reportedly considered leaving the board of Facebook back in early 2018 over political tensions between him and another Facebook director, according to The Wall Street Journal. That report also said Thiel would be reducing his involvement in the tech industry due to its “intolerant, left-leaning politics” and moving from Silicon Valley to LA.

Thiel, reached via his fellowship organization, didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment. 

Facebook rebranded itself as Meta last year amid its push to become a leader in the metaverse, which is seen by proponents like Zuckerberg as the next stage of the internet.

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