Investment legend Peter Thiel to step down from Meta Platforms board



Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel will leave Facebook parent Meta's board, the firm said Monday, after a lengthy tenure that saw the network's rise and his vocal support of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Meta and Thiel's announcement offered nothing on his future plans, but the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported that he would focus on aiding Republican candidates backing Trump's agenda in the midterm elections.

Thiel became Facebook's first outside investor in 2004 when he provided $500,000 in capital at a $5 million valuation for a 10 percent stake in the company and a seat on its board of directors.

In recent years, Thiel's position on the board has been in the spotlight, given his conservative views, as the company has been caught up in political controversies and backlash.

"He has served on our board for almost two decades, and we've always known that at some point he would devote his time to other interests," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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

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

The news about Thiel's departure comes as Meta aims to move past its status as a scandal-plagued 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 faces regulators' scrutiny, troubles with its core ad business and a stock price that plunged on disappointing quarterly results.