Why Peter Thiel Is Leaving Silicon Valley for L.A.

February 15, 2018, 3:57 PM UTC

Peter Thiel, one of the most visible (and sometimes controversial) investors in Silicon Valley is headed to Lala Land.

Thiel, an outspoken conservative, plans to move both his home and investment firms to Los Angeles, in part because he has grown frustrated with the political culture in left-leaning San Francisco and has a growing pessimism about tech businesses, the Wall Street Journal quotes friends of the investor as saying.

In addition, those sources say Thiel has considered resigning from the board of directors at Facebook amid quarrels with founder Mark Zuckerberg and political differences with another board member over Thiel’s support of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

That action, if it occurs at all, does not appear to be imminent, but Thiel did sell 73% of his remaining stake in Facebook in November, pocketing almost $30 million.

Thiel, who cofounded PayPal in 1999 with Elon Musk, has invested in some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies. He was the first outside investor in Facebook and made early-stage investments in Yelp, LinkedIn, and Quora. Last year, his Founders Fund reportedly made a $15 to $20 million investment in Bitcoin as well.

His political ideology, which leans toward libertarianism, is at odds with many in the tech industry. He came under fire from some in the tech community, including Netflix founder Reid Hastings, for his support of Trump.

In L.A., which is hardly a conservative haven, he could create a right-leaning media outlet, the Journal reports.

Thiel Capital and Thiel Foundation, and their 50 employees, will accompany Thiel to L.A. Other firms, including Founders Fund and Mithril Capital, will remain in San Francisco.

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