Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel relocating businesses, self to LA

Lake Wanaka. Image by Sandra Vallaur. New Zealand 2013

Investor Peter Thiel is moving his residence and business operations from San Francisco to Los Angeles, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Mr Thiel is to move his home and his investment firms about 350 miles to Los Angeles and reduce his investments in the technology...

Thiel "has grown more disaffected by what he sees as the intolerant, left-leaning politics of the San Francisco Bay Area, and increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for tech businesses amid greater risk of regulation", people familiar with the situation told the Journal.

"Silicon Valley is a one-party state", Thiel said at a recent debate about tech and politics at Stanford University with Reid Hoffman, fellow venture capitalist and PayPal Mafia member, and co-founder of LinkedIn. He delivered a keynote speech at the Republican National Convention.

Peter Theil at the Hy! Summit. Image by Dan Taylor. Germany 2014
Peter Theil at the Hy! Summit. Image by Dan Taylor. Germany 2014

Thiel co-founded payment service PayPal and is known for funding the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that led to the shutdown of online news site Gawker.

In the months following the election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly talked with Thiel about his position on the board, though Thiel said he wasn't planning on leaving, according to The Journal, and Zuckerberg reportedly didn't press him to resign.

Thiel was not immediately available for comment. He has been harsher in private, criticizing Silicon Valley as "mono-cultural" and "toxic" with a high cost of living and tendency for group think, according to people familiar with his thinking. Thiel's 50-person staff will also relocate, one of the people said. Thiel made early investments in rocket maker SpaceX in 2008. Plus, Trump's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, senior adviser Stephen Miller and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon have backgrounds in Hollywood.

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