Say Goodnight Peter? Thiel Should Quit Facebook Board: Pro

Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012 | 2:50 PM ET
Peter Thiel, founder of the Theil Foundation and is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist.
Source: thielfoundation.org
Peter Thiel, founder of the Theil Foundation and is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist.

By dumping his Facebook shares as soon as he could, investor Peter Thiel has shown he's not committed to the social network in the long-term and should step down from the board of directors, an analyst said to CNBC.

It was revealed Monday Thiel sold about 20 million sharesworth about $1 billion last Thursday — the majority of his stake in Facebook — after the lock-up expired for insiders, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He retains 5.6 million shares. The move surprised some analysts, given that Thiel was one of Facebook's earliest investors.

Michael Pachter, a senior analyst at Wedbush Securities, said Tuesday on CNBC's Squawk on the Streetthat Thiel is "certainly sending a signal that he has a lack of commitment to the stock."

Facebook Director Thiel Unloads Majority Stake
Early investor and current Facebook director Peter Thiel has unloaded a majority of his stake in the social network. Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities, explains what this means to investors.

The analyst added: "I don't think Thiel is interested in a long term investor in Facebook. I think he made his money...and I think since he doesn't have a long term commitment to this company he should step aside from the board," he said.

While some investors are worried that Thiel's stock sale signals Facebook is a sinking ship, Pachter said Thiel's move was really just a matter of cashing in on his investment.

"I think this guy saw his payday, he chose to exit, exploit his payday and move on," Pachter said. "I'm not sure he knows anything more than any of the other insiders, none of whom apparently who sold significant amounts of stock."

Early investors are ready to cash in on their initial cash infusion, and selling stock to is well within their rights, he said. Investors should expect more people to sell when the next lock-up expires in November, Pachter added.

As for Thiel, Pachter stated that his unloading of Facebook's stock spoke volumes. "I think right now if shareholders were to vote, that guy would not get reelected."

email: tech@cnbc.com

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson

  Price   Change %Change


Contact Technology


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.