Facebook CTO Sheryl Sandberg says that Peter Thiel will stay on Facebook’s board.
Thiel, Facebook’s longest-serving board member, recently revealed that he has been funding lawsuits against the publication, including one by Hulk Hogan that resulted in a $140 million jury verdict against Gawker.
Thiel’s actions could be seen to contradict Facebook’s past defences of free speech, as Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff and others have written. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post and is an investor in Business Insider, also criticised Thiel’s actions.
But Facebook demurred.
“Peter did what he did on his own,” Sandberg said. “We didn’t know about it.”
She continued that Thiel’s strong views make him a valuable board member.
“We have very different board members with very different thoughts,” she said. “Those people make good board members because they have strong views that they’re not afraid to show them.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.