One of Meta's Most Controversial Board Members Is Leaving, Potentially to Support Trump-Aligned Political Candidates Some of his contrarian ideas include encouraging young people to opt out of college and arguing that entrepreneurs should strive for monopolies in his 'New York Times' bestseller 'Zero to One.'

By Amanda Breen

Peter Thiel, one of Meta's longest-serving board members, will step down later this year, the company said Monday. Thiel, 54, has been a member of the company's board of directors since 2005 and will continue to serve until the company's 2022 annual stockholder meeting, at which time he will not stand for reelection.

Thiel, long a controversial figure in Silicon Valley, co-founded PayPal and data-analytics firm Palantir Technologies, and is a partner at venture capital firm Founders Fund. He was an early investor in Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and other heavy-hitting tech firms. Some of his contrarian ideas include encouraging young people to opt out of college and arguing that entrepreneurs should strive for monopolies in his New York Times bestseller Zero to One.

Politico calls Thiel's political worldview "a mishmash of libertarianism and nationalism that has led to his interest in cryptocurrency, funding of immigration hardliners, support for seasteading — floating autonomous ocean communities that are not subject to government regulations or taxes," noting that while most public figures tried to distance themselves from Donald Trump in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign, Thiel emerged as one of his most powerful supporters.

Related: Meta Pays $60 Million to Meta Financial Group for Name Rights

In 2016, when Thiel's $1.25 million donation to Trump's campaign incensed Silicon Valley, Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg came to his defense, saying on an internal post, "we can't create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate." Now, as Thiel plans for his exit, Zuckerberg continues to be vocal in his support, saying Thiel is "truly an original thinker" who is leaving to "devote his time to other interests."

Those other interests likely include politics, as midterm elections draw near in the U.S. On Monday, the New York Times reported that Thiel intends to back candidates who support former President Donald Trump's agenda, per an unnamed source with insider knowledge.

Meta will lose the most outspoken conservative voice on its board when Thiel leaves. The company faces serious challenges ahead, as it is already under fire for censoring conservative voices (despite a lack of credible, non-partisan reporting to support such claims) and has been experiencing staganting user growth and regulatory scrutiny.

Related: Meta Plans Physical Stores to Showcase Its Virtual- and Augmented-Reality Devices

Wavy Line
Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

Editor's Pick

A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son's Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
A Teen Turned His Roblox Side Hustle Into a Multimillion-Dollar Company — Now He's Working With Karlie Kloss and Elton John
3 Mundane Tasks You Should Automate to Save Your Brain for the Big Stuff
The Next Time Someone Intimidates You, Here's What You Should Do
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health and Regulate Your Nervous System for Sustainable Success

Related Topics

Business News

Uber Eats Deliveries Are Flooding a Los Angeles Neighborhood — Except No One Knows Who Placed the Orders

Residents of L.A.'s Highland Park neighborhood are once again the target of dozens of unsolicited Uber Eats orders. The "annoying and somewhat disturbing" mystery is gripping the city.

Growing a Business

The Human Side of Business Scaling — Why Employee Well-Being, Team Cohesion and Company Values Must Be Prioritized

Let's explore the potential pitfalls of neglecting employee well-being, team cohesion and company values as you scale — and a few strategies to prioritize each.

Business News

After Being Told They Could Work From Home Forever, Employees Made Major Life Changes. Then, a New CEO Ordered Them Back to the Office.

Farmers Group CEO Raul Vargas is facing backlash for the change, but he says being in the office brings more "collaboration" and "innovation."

Business News

'I've Got the Bug for Business': See All of Mark Wahlberg's Entrepreneurial Endeavors, From Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to Wahlburgers

Mark Wahlberg owns businesses in several categories, including entertainment production, apparel, fitness, and nutrition.

Growing a Business

How to Grow Your Business With Social Media

Miriam Fried, owner of MF Strong, shares why a solid online presence, including social media and Yelp, is important for starting a business and achieving continued growth.

Business News

Gamestop Suddenly Fires CEO, New Chairman Posts Cryptic Tweet Hours Before Announcement

Shares of the electronics retailer plummeted up to 20% early Thursday.