Billionaire Peter Thiel quits Meta board to focus on pro-Trump advocacy

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Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel will step down from the board of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, the company announced on Monday, after a long tenure that has seen the network rise to prominence and its vocal support for Donald Trump.

Meta and Thiel’s announcement offered nothing about his future plans, but the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported he would focus on helping Republican candidates backing former President Donald Trump’s agenda. during the midterm elections.

“He served on our board for nearly two decades, and we always knew that at some point he would dedicate his time to other interests,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post. a statement.

Thiel is expected to step down from the board after Meta’s shareholders’ meeting, which usually takes place in May.

He was Facebook’s first outside investor, with a stake that brought him hundreds of millions of dollars, joining the fledgling giant’s board in 2005.

Thiel built his wealth through online payment company PayPal, founded in 1998, and has invested in Airbnb, Affirm, Stripe and SpaceX, among others.

Considered one of the tech industry’s most prominent conservatives, he became a Trump supporter, including donating $1.25 million in 2016 to the former TV star’s campaign -reality.

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

Thiel was a longtime confidant of Zuckerberg, but drifted away from Silicon Valley culture over the years.

“Our company was founded in Silicon Valley. But we seem to share less and less the values ​​and commitments of the tech sector,” says a prospectus from Palantir, a data analytics company co-founded by Thiel.

“From the beginning, we have repeatedly turned down opportunities to sell, collect or mine data.”

News of Thiel’s departure comes as Meta aims to move beyond its status as a scandal-ridden social media giant, to its metaverse vision for the future of the internet.

However, that idea remains a distant goal and in the meantime the company is facing scrutiny from regulators, issues with its core advertising business and a stock price that has plunged on disappointing quarterly results.

(AFP)

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