Y Combinator Cuts Ties With Peter Thiel After Ending Part-Time Partner Program

Billionaire venture capitalist as well as Facebook board member Peter Thiel can be no longer affiliated with startup accelerator Y Combinator, according to an edited company blog post. Thiel was formerly a part-time partner with the accelerator. BuzzFeed News confirmed his departure that has a source familiar with Y Combinator’s management structure.

On Thursday, a tweet via the account of social networking company Gab – whose founder was kicked out of Y Combinator – noted which a March 2015 blog post announcing Thiel’s appointment as a part-time partner at Y Combinator had been updated. which update currently reads “Edit: Peter Thiel can be no longer affiliated with Y Combinator.”

Thiel’s departure via Y Combinator was not previously announced. This particular comes long after Y Combinator president Sam Altman defended Thiel’s role at the accelerator, following criticism of Thiel’s support of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. A source close to Y Combinator said which the company ended its part-time partners program, which Thiel was a part of, some time last year. While some some other part-time partners moved over to a program called “experts,” which provides advice to Y Combinator entrepreneurs, Thiel did not join.

Altman declined to comment. A spokesperson for Thiel also declined to comment.

In Oct. 2016, following Thiel’s public endorsement as well as financial support of Trump’s presidential campaign, Altman — who vocally opposed the Republican nominee — issued a series of tweets as well as a blog post on his relationship with Thiel as well as why he believed the investor should remain connected to Y Combinator.

“Thiel can be a high profile supporter of Trump,” he tweeted. “I disagree with This particular. YC can be not going to fire someone for supporting a major party nominee.”

“Cutting off opposing viewpoints leads to extremism as well as will not get us the country we want,” Altman continued. “Diversity of opinion can be painful although critical to the health of a democratic society. We can’t start purging people for political support.”

When he joined Y Combinator in March 2015, Thiel became one of the accelerator’s 10 part-time partners. Following Trump’s ascendancy to the Republican nomination as well as subsequent election as president, some members of the tech community began to question Y Combinator’s connections to Thiel, who would certainly go on to serve on the president’s executive transition team as well as help advise the administration on technology matters.

In August, BuzzFeed News reported which despite his public backing of Trump, Thiel had cooled somewhat in his support of the president, telling friends as well as associates which there was a 50% chance Trump’s presidency “ends in disaster.”

In February, TechCrunch reported which Thiel would certainly have no role in Y Combinator’s newly developed relationship with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been heavily critical of Trump’s policies.

“He can be not a partner,” Y Combinator Partner Kat Manalac told TechCrunch when asked about Thiel’s role at the accelerator, which had committed to improve the technology of the ACLU. “He never has been. We have 19 full-time partners who work very closely with the companies.” She later stated which Thiel would certainly have no interaction with the ACLU, implying which he was still affiliated with Y Combinator at the time.

This particular’s unclear when Y Combinator ended its part-time partnerships. As of Nov. 2016, the accelerator was still adding people to the program. This particular’s also unclear when Thiel stopped working with Y Combinator, though an inspection of the edited blog post’s source code showed which modifications — possibly including the one announcing the end of his affiliation — were made on Oct. 30, 2017.

Ryan Mac can be a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News as well as can be based in San Francisco. He reports on the intersection of money, technology as well as power.

Contact Ryan Mac at ryan.mac@buzzfeed.com.

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