Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Say Goodnight Peter? Thiel Should Quit Facebook Board: Pro

Published: Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012 | 2:50 PM ET
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By: Cadie Thompson
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Peter Thiel
Source: thielfoundation.org
Peter Thiel, 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 shares worth about $1 billion last Thursday — the majority of his stake inFacebook [FB  19.159    -0.852  (-4.26%)   ] — 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 onCNBC's Squawk on the Street that Thiel is "certainly sending a signal that he has a lack of commitment to the stock."

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."

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