Facebook’s founder and CEO has an important decision to make. On Monday morning, the social network and Mark Zuckerberg will host the annual shareholder meeting, where every one of Facebook’s board members will be up for re-election, including Peter Thiel, reports Re/code.
Thiel has a bad reputation
Thiel is a billionaire PayPal co-founder who recently succeeded in his efforts to bankrupt Gawker Media. These efforts have left people wondering whether the social networking giant might try to distance itself from Thiel and his new reputation of squashing publications he does not like. Currently, the social networking site is dealing with the perception that it is manipulating news.
Thiel is a Donald Trump supporter as well. Some would think that a person’s political affiliation would not impact an essential business decision, but Trump “has a way of alienating and offending massive groups of people — groups of people that are very important to Facebook’s business,” says Re/code. It is hard to imagine that Zuckerberg is not bothered by the association.
Thiel bankrupted Gawker by secretly funding Hulk Hogan’s defamation lawsuit against the company. According to many people, this move was motivated by revenge after the now-defunct Gawker site Valleywag outed Thiel as gay in 2007.
Facebook CEO has an important decision to make
Last week, the Writers Guild of America, East released a petition calling on Zuckerberg to remove the billionaire cofounder of PayPal from the company’s board.
Hence, Monday will be an important day when Facebook’s CEO will finally decide whether Thiel will stay on board or not. Technically, it is up to the shareholder vote, but Zuckerberg holds majority voting power at 60%, so it will be his decision to make.
One must not forget that the social media giant already said Thiel would stay. At Re/code’s annual Code Conference at the end of May, COO Sheryl Sandberg said it with certainly after it became public that Thiel was funding Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker.
“Peter [Thiel] did what he did on his own. Not as a board member,” Sandberg said.
Further, when she was asked point blank by an attendee whether Thiel will remain on board, Sandberg replied, “Yes.” Therefore, do not expect Thiel to leave. He would leave only if something has changed in the past three weeks. Also the social networking site will have some explaining to do if he is not voted in.
On Friday, Facebook shares closed down 1.20% at $113.02. Year to date, the stock is up by over 6%, while in the last year, it is up almost 37%.