Controversial billionaire Peter Thiel has retained his seat on Facebook’s board of directors.
The move comes despite the disapproval many have voiced over the Silicon Valley tycoon’s financing of Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who currently owns 60 percent of Facebook’s voting shares, had the opportunity to punish Thiel for his actions that bankrupted Gawker as well as for his support of Republican candidate Donald Trump — but the 32-year-old instead threw his support behind him.
And while critics are saying Thiel should have been booted from the board for having opinions and stances contrary to those of Facebook and Zuckerberg himself, the CEO made his decision from a business, rather than a personal standpoint.
As Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg pointed out last month during Re/code’s conference: “Peter did what he did on his own, not as a Facebook board member.”
Thiel funded a portion of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media for posting a sex tape of Hogan and Heather Clem. Despite Hogan receiving an injunction, Gawker ignored the judge’s ruling and refused to remove the clip from its site.
It is thought Thiel got involved in the matter as an act of revenge against the blog for its 2007 article about his sexual orientation. Thiel, who was already openly gay, however, has said that his beef with Gawker is that the publication ruins “people’s lives for no reason. It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence.”