For years, even as Facebook came under increasing scrutiny from Washington politicians and regulators, the controversial billionaire Peter Thiel kept his seat on the company’s board, and, with it, his position as one of Silicon Valley’s most important power brokers. Now, Thiel is finally giving up that seat — one that he has held since 2005 — a move that will likely spare Meta Platforms Inc. from added political headaches. It will also allow Thiel to do what he has long signaled was a desire: to go all-in on far-right politics.

The investor and co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc. has long seemed ambivalent about Facebook, a company where he was the first outside investor and a mentor to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He sold much of his stock shortly after the company went public in 2012 and has been privately critical of the social network, even as he acted as an intermediary between Zuckerberg and former U.S. President Donald Trump. (Thiel spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention and served as a member of the presidential transition team.)

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