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Peter Thiel to step down from the board of Facebook parent Meta

Peter Thiel to step down from the board of Facebook parent Meta

February 9, 2022: -Billionaire tech investor and PayPal Co-founder Peter Thiel will step down from the board of Facebook owner Meta, the company announced Monday.

Thiel, an early Facebook investor and close confidante of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, will not stand for re-election to the board at the company’s 2022 annual stockholders’ meeting. The company said he will continue to serve on the board until the annual meeting.

Thiel has been on the Facebook board since 2005. The company has since touched $1 trillion in market cap and generated more than $117 billion in revenue in 2021. On Wednesday, Facebook issued a first-quarter forecast that badly missed estimates, sending the stock down 26% the following day, its worst drop on record.

While Thiel is lauded for investing in Zuckerberg when the entrepreneur was just a college kid with a popular website, his tenure with the company has been fraught with controversy. Thiel dumped a considerable portion of his shares in the company’s 2012 IPO and more shortly after that. He hasn’t shied away from investing in other start-ups that compete with Facebook or use its data in unsanctioned ways.

But his political views have caused the most extraordinary turmoil. Thiel was an active booster for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, even as the Republican candidate expressed extreme views on immigration and faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct. Thiel spoke at the Republican National Convention in July 2016. After Trump was elected, he acted as the liaison to Silicon Valley, bringing together top tech execs for a meeting at Trump Tower.

“I want to start by thanking Peter because he saw something very early, maybe before we saw it,” Trump said at the meeting in December 2016. “And of course, he’s known for that… he’s ahead of the curve.”

Thiel invested $500,000 in in 2004, becoming the first significant outside investor in the fast-growing social networking site spreading around college campuses. A year later, Zuckerberg renamed the company Facebook.

Before the Facebook investment, Thiel made his initial fortune as co-founder of PayPal. He then invested, first through a hedge fund and then as a venture capitalist.

Thiel is chairman and co-founder of Palantir Technologies, an investment that’s earned him a fortune. The company, which went public in 2020, sells software that has helped the U.S. government track terrorists.

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Peter Thiel to step down from the board of Facebook parent Meta