It’s no surprise Peter Thiel has been re-elected to Facebook’s board of directors. After all, there were eight nominees for eight open seats.
But leading up to the company’s annual shareholder meeting on June 20, there were lingering questions if Thiel, Facebook’s first outside investor, would see any blowback because of his role funding legal cases against Gawker Media, most notably an invasion of privacy suit by Hulk Hogan. With Thiel’s financial assistance, the retired wrestler won $140 million in damages for a sex tape published by the news outlet, which subsequently filed for bankruptcy.
Apparently, Thiel’s personal vendetta against Gawker, which outed him as gay in 2007, mattered very little to Facebook’s investors. Not a single shareholder asked about it during the meeting. They did ask about Facebook’s trending topics, which recently came under fire for allegedly censoring conservative articles (news of which was broken by Gizmodo, a Gawker property).
The votes for Thiel’s election reflect their nonchalance. Though Thiel was absent from the meeting, he received 6.04 billion votes to approve his nomination, second only to Reed Hastings, according to an SEC filing. As BuzzFeed points out, that’s more votes than CEO Mark Zuckerberg or chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg received.