Peter Thiel Ditches "Intolerant" Silicon Valley For LA, May Quit Facebook Board

Peter Thiel has had it with Silicon Valley.

The popular libertarian billionaire investor is relocating his home and personal investment firms to Los Angeles from San Francisco and scaling back his involvement in the tech industry, the WSJ reported, marking a rupture between Silicon Valley and its most prominent conservative.

According to WSJ sources, Thiel has recently said tech culture has become increasingly intolerant of conservative political views since Mr. Trump’s election, an attitude he has said is intellectually and politically fraught.

As a result, after spending most of the past four decades in the Bay Area, the 50-year-old plans to permanently move into the 7,000-square foot home overlooking the Sunset Strip that he bought six years ago, a person familiar with the matter said. He also will move Thiel Capital and Thiel Foundation, two firms that oversee his investments, into new L.A. headquarters this year, the person said.

Underscoring the growing ideological polarization of the Valley, what prompted Thiel to take the drastic action was his disappointment with "what he sees as the intolerant, left-leaning politics of the San Francisco Bay Area" coupled with increasing pessimism about the prospects for tech businesses amid greater risk of regulation.

Separately, the WSJ said that Thiel also discussed the possibility of resigning from the board of Facebook: "His relationship with the social-networking company—where he has been a director since 2005, the year after its founding—came under strain after a dispute with a fellow director over Mr. Thiel’s support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and a related confrontation over boardroom leaks with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg last summer."

Still, for now "Thiel feels he can still help the company and is likely to remain on the board at least for now."

He may have his hands full: according to Mashable, Facebook has seen a decline in traffic in recent weeks along with millions of users leaving its platform, and is "taking rather drastic measures to win them back. Specifically, spamming the hell out of them in a most unfortunate place. "

Thiel's involvement with Facebook has arguably been Thiel’s biggest triumph: in 2004 he invested $500,000 for a 10% stake in 2004. Today, Facebook is valued at over $500 billion and used by more than two billion people a month. Thiel has made more than $1 billion from the investment

Facebook aside, the reason why Thiel decided to cut the cord with Silicon Valley is hardly a secret:

Thiel has long stood out in Silicon Valley for his vocal libertarianism, but he drew heavy criticism from many tech-industry peers—including fellow Facebook board member Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix Inc.—when he backed Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and later served as an adviser on his White House transition team.

Furthermore, in 2016 Thiel’s support for Trump drew criticism within Facebook, from rank-and-file workers commenting on employee message boards to Hastings. In a 2016 email to Thiel, Hastings called his support of Mr. Trump “catastrophically bad judgment” and questioned his fitness to remain on the board, according to a copy of the message reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The contents of the email were reported last year by the New York Times.

It is almost as if Thiel is angry that Silicon Valley is "tolerant" as long as it does not have to tolerate Trump supporters. “Silicon Valley is a one-party state,” Thiel said last month at a debate about tech and politics at Stanford University. “That’s when you get in trouble politically in our society, when you’re all in one side."

Thiel's concerns have been "echoed by other conservatives in tech who say they feel alienated by the industry’s broad embrace of liberal values."

A majority of the tech workers who responded to a recent survey by Lincoln Network, an advocacy group for conservatives and libertarians in the tech sector, described the cultural norms of their workplace as liberal. More than one-third of workers who identified as conservative said the clash between their views and those of those of colleagues kept them from doing their best work.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO, and the person many have speculated is preparing for his own presidential campaign, Mark Zuckerberg publicly deflected the criticism of Thiel, saying in March 2017 that demands for his removal were “crazy” and that “ideological diversity” had become a necessary component of diversity in the workplace and boardroom.

"Diversity" yes, as long as that "diversity" is in line with what everyone else in Silicon Valley agrees on. And that's the problem.

* * *

So what's next for the famous billionaire investor? According to the WSJ:

"Thiel's new projects in L.A. will include the creation of a new media endeavor, one of the people said. Mr. Thiel sees an opportunity to build a right-leaning media outlet to foster discussion and community around conservative topics, the person said.

Thiel Capital and Thiel Foundation plan to move their dedicated staff of about 50 employees to L.A., where they will continue to oversee Mr. Thiel’s personal holdings, one of the people familiar with his thinking said. Other investment firms associated with Mr. Thiel, including Founders Fund and Mithril Capital, will remain in San Francisco, the person said.

Meanwhile, Thiel continues to sever his ties to the Valley one by one: he recently exited the boards of Zenefits and Asana, cut ties with startup incubator Y Combinator and sold off the majority of his stakes in Twilio. He still serves on the boards of several companies, including Palo Alto, Calif.-based data-mining firm Palantir Technologies Inc.

Thiel paid $11.5 million for his Los Angeles home in 2012, according to real-estate data website Property Shark. He also has a home in New Zealand, where he was granted citizenship in 2011.

Why New Zealand? Because as we have discussed in the past, and as The Guardian does today, the small Pacific nation is the "bug out" location where all of America's billionaires plan on moving to, if a "worst case" scenario were to strike America.

Comments

blindfaith Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:18 Permalink

MAY QUIT.  Oh My !!! Gasp.

 

He could move to Burbank.  Very conservative place represented by Adam Shitt.  Or Maxine's district...never mind that is a fly over area for the wealthy.

WernerHeisenberg farmerbraun Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

NZ PM John Key's resignation was not inexplicable.  He was a pizzagate casualty.  His personal quirk of grabbing the ponytails of adult women in public came back to haunt this Clinton associate when the Podesta emails were leaked.  Then it was discovered his daughter in the UK was making satanic/cannibal/kiddie porn in photoshoots. 

http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/12/is-this-really-why-new-zealands-…

On the morning before his resignation, Key was asked on Radio New Zealand about reopening the (repeatedly covered up) investigation into the disappearance of over a thousand children in NZ while under child protective services.  Key declined uncomfortably and resigned later in the day.  Circumstantial evidence only, but just as with the Podestas, there is enough to reasonably conclude that the probability Key is a satanist involved with child abuse is very high.

Same as in Canada and France, the outgoing PM has been replaced by a young MK Ultra politician/slave.

In reply to by farmerbraun

Endgame Napoleon TuPhat Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:29 Permalink

If elites all go to New Zealand, carrying their towering stacks of fiat, what will it be worth on that island? Are they buying hard assets in that country, like the land of native New Zealanders, or will their fiat be King on the island after passing through an exchange? How will New Zealanders tax the influx of wealth to benefit their citizens? Maybe, elites are building a big gold depository there, rather than creating self-propelling, wealth-generating businesses in their own country, the USA. 

In reply to by TuPhat

WernerHeisenberg Endgame Napoleon Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:21 Permalink

"Are they buying hard assets in that country, like the land of native New Zealanders?" 

Yes, housing, forestry, and farms.  Think Ireland in the 1840s.  Kiwis are increasingly being crushed by high living costs for housing and food.  The iconic quarter acre section with fruit trees, chickens and a vegetable garden is a fading memory in the big cities.  Homelessness of Kiwis has exploded.  The footpaths of Queen Street in Auckland are covered with the blankets of people "sleeping rough".  When TSHTF, there is a real possibility of serious food insecurity for the natives of this major food exporter.  The only thing lacking is a new Jonathan Swift to rewrite his 1729 'Modest Proposal' for the present day.  That will come later.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

octomancer WernerHeisenberg Thu, 02/15/2018 - 19:31 Permalink

There's something about money that corrupts. It's no surprise, money is power in this day and age and we all know the old saw about power. Eventually those areas where the nouveau-riche of fintech congregate become soulless, unpleasant places to be because the pursuit of obscene wealth is a soulless, unpleasant pursuit. So they look for places that are unspoiled by their filthy practices and go and infect them. This forces out the ordinary people who are the only thing resisting the moral decay of the neighbourhood and inevitably, some years later, all that's left is soulless, unpleasant super rich wishing there wasn't rampant arseholery as far as the eye can see. Rinse and repeat.

In London (and elsewhere I think) they call it "gentrification". It's very much a "Nice guys finish last. Meet the winners." kinda thing. Hoxton and Shoreditch are two of the London boroughs which were transformed like this. There was a similar problem with rich English people buying holiday cottages in Wales and destroying communities in the 70s. The Welsh solution was to burn them down. A completely uncorroborated result I just found with Google suggests that 228 such arson incidents resulted in a handul of detentions and only one custodial sentence. NZ take note ;-)

In reply to by WernerHeisenberg

Jim in MN Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:19 Permalink

Been watching so-called 'liberals' agreeing with Gen. Michael Hayden on some ridiculous op-ed he wrote about the Deep State not existing over at The Hill all morning.  Yes, the same Hayden who defends torture and designed much of the mass surveillance program for 'us people' to get spied on.

http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/373991-dont-knock-our-inte…

(note, amusingly, they've changed the headline to 'Our Intelligence Chiefs Just Want to Tell the Truth About National Security' but the link above contains the original headline....)

It really does seem like end times for the left.  They've been eaten by their overlords and they don't even know it.

Meet the left's new best friend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Hayden_(general)

 

Endgame Napoleon Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:23 Permalink

SV, in general, wants skin-pigmentation and gender diversity without a diversity of ideas, although the Founders were anti bloodline / clan-based factionalism and pro intellectual diversity. I wonder what Thiel’s site will be like. Will it be a content-creation site or a debate site? No site really provides a way for people to debate in real time. 

any_mouse Endgame Napoleon Thu, 02/15/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

You need to research the bloodlines of the Founding Fathers.

Members of the British Peerage to a man. Back home they would have been in the House of Lords.  Was just a change of who collected the taxes.

From the "Boston Tea Party" to the "Whiskey Rebellion" was 18 years.

The Whiskey Rebellion was about a national currency and an unconstitutional domestic tax on domestic production imposed by the Federal government. Put down with extreme prejudice by the Federal government. Ruby Ridge and Waco style. Sherman's March to the Sea through Pennsylvania. President George Washington authorized this brutality against The People.

Whiskey was being used as currency away from the Atlantic coast. It was difficult to come by the Federal scrip in use far from East Coast banks. Whiskey was durable, of a known quality and quantity, and a useful product on its own.

Look past the official line regarding the 1861-1865 war and you'll find an unconstitutional Federal tax, on domestic production imposed on a selective group, was the trigger for a fallback to the Articles of Confederacy as Lincoln had nullified the Constitution by his action.

"The More you Know..."

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

dgc0101 Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

"Meanwhile, Facebook CEO, and the person many have speculated is preparing for his own presidential campaign, Mark Zuckerberg":

Does anyone remember how well Zuckerberg's tour of middle America went. I understood it to be less than well because, among other things, Zuckerberg is a totally unrelatable and unsympathetic social miscreant. He may be technically gifted, but he has minimal interpersonal skills. That is something that is still needed by politicos, whether we like it or not.

samsara Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:43 Permalink

"Why New Zealand? Because as we have discussed in the past, and as The Guardian does today, the small Pacific nation is the "bug out" location where all of America's billionaires plan on moving to, if a "worst case" scenario were to strike America."

 

So,  New Zealand is the New  Argentina then?

Posa Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:52 Permalink

"Mr. Thiel sees an opportunity to build a right-leaning media outlet to foster discussion and community around conservative topics, the person said."

 

Yeah. Like paying any taxes at all... that's for the little people.

RedDwarf Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

Like or hate crypto, it's where the next wave of IT talent is going to go, and the crypto space is very libertarian leaning.  Silicon Valley has peaked, nothing but a slow decline from here on.

Rex Andrus Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

Mind you don't catch a stray or get mangled by criminal aliens with DLs, Thiel. Do test your beachfront for CS, SR & I and your tap water for synthetic estrogen & PCBs. BTW you're an anarchist, not a libertarian.