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techkenyot.com February 24, 2018


Billionaire Trump supporter Peter Thiel leaving Silicon Valley

15 February 2018, 08:29 | Edward Lowe

Peter Thiel in Washington DC on Oct. 31 2016. Saul Loeb—AFP Getty Images

Peter Thiel in Washington DC on Oct. 31 2016

Peter Thiel, the well-known investor who cofounded data-analysis firm Palantir Technologies and who bankrolled the lawsuit that ultimately drove Gawker out of business, has decided that he has had enough of Silicon Valley.

He'd not only be moving house into a Los Angeles property he bought six years ago; he'd also move Thiel Capital and Thiel Foundation south as well.

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel is moving to Los Angeles and considering leaving Facebook's board of directors, according to The Wall Street Journal. The two had disputes over Thiel's support for President Trump, according to the article.

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Facebook did not respond to a request for comment. Chief Executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he should stay, citing the importance of diversity of opinion at the company, Reuters has reported. The billionaire venture capitalist was the first outside investor in the $516 billion social network.

Fellow Facebook board member Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, in a 2016 email called Thiel's support of Trump "mystifying" and "catastrophically bad judgment" and questioned whether he should remain on Facebook's board, the New York Times reported previous year.

That action, if it occurs at all, does not appear to be imminent, but Thiel did sell 73% of his remaining stake in Facebook in November, pocketing nearly $30 million. He founded Palantir in 2003, and invested the paltry sum of $500,000 for a 10.2 percent stake in Facebook in 2004.

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Later the same year, he sold roughly 20 million of his remaining 26 million shares for $400million after the expiry of a lockup. During a debate at Stanford University last month he described Silicon Valley as "a one-party state" and said, "That's when you get in trouble politically in our society, when you're all in one side".

Silicon Valley companies and tech workers overwhelmingly supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Thiel rose to political prominence in 2016 when he donated $1.25 million to the Trump campaign and spoke at the Republican National Convention.

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