Conservative tech mogul Peter Thiel is leaving the board of Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta after nearly two decades, the company said Monday.
The co-founder of PayPal and Palantir plans to leave Meta following its annual meeting in May, Meta said in a press release.
Thiel is stepping down to focus on advancing his pro-Trump political agenda in the 2022 campaign cycle, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reported.
The tech founder — who has an estimated worth of $2.6 billion — became Facebook’s first outside investor in 2004 and joined the company’s board in 2005. His endorsement of Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention ruffled the feathers of some Facebook staffers.
In the press release confirming Thiel’s exit, Mark Zuckerberg lavished praise on the conservative mogul.
“Peter has been a valuable member of our board and I’m deeply grateful for everything he has done for our company,” Zuckerberg said. “Peter is truly an original thinker who you can bring your hardest problems and get unique suggestions.”
Thiel likewise praised Zuckerberg for his “intelligence, energy, and conscientiousness.”
“His talents will serve Meta well as he leads the company into a new era,” Thiel said
Thiel is now reportedly expected to focus more of his time on conservative political causes, including senate bids by two of his proteges, Blake Masters and JD Vance, according to the WSJ report.
Masters and Vance are running the Republican Senate primaries in Arizona and Ohio, respectively. Thiel has spent millions of dollars supporting their candidacies and held fundraising dinners for both candidates.
“He thinks that the Republican Party can advance the Trump agenda and he wants to do what he can to support that,” a source close to Thiel told Bloomberg. “His focus will be on supporting Blake Masters, JD Vance and others who support the Trump agenda.”
Thiel spokesman Jeremiah Hall did not immediately respond to a request for comment.