Peter Thiel

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel has been a Silicon Valley loner in his support for President Donald Trump.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

Peter Thiel, a conservative and a renowned venture capitalist, has considered resigning from Facebook’s board of directors over political tensions between him and Silicon Valley.

In a Wall Street Journal report Thursday about Thiel’s frustrations with Silicon Valley’s liberal leanings, the article noted that Thiel has had a strained relationship with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who also serves on Facebook’s board. The two have disputes specifically over Thiel’s support for President Donald Trump, according to the article.  

In a leaked email obtained by the New York Times, Hastings wrote to Thiel in August 2016, “I’m so mystified by your endorsement of Trump for our President, that for me it moves from ‘different judgment’ to ‘bad judgment.'” Hastings criticized Thiel’s support, calling it “catastrophically bad judgment” and “not what anyone wants in a fellow board member” in the email.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, then confronted Hastings and Thiel, concerned that one of them had leaked the email to the public, the Journal reported.

Facebook declined CNET’s request for comment. 

Sources close to Thiel told the Journal he decided to stay on the board because he felt he could still help the company.

Thiel was an early backer of Facebook, investing $500,000 in the social network in 2004 as it was starting. He’s been on the board since 2005. 

First published, Feb. 15 at 6:36 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:52 a.m. PT: Facebook declined to comment.



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