Venture capitalist Jim Breyer is giving up his seat on Facebook’s board in June, which he’s held since April 2005. The split is amicable and stems from his desire to concentrate on his new seat on the Harvard University Corporation Board. Breyer joined the Facebook board after his venture firm Accel became one of Facebook’s earliest investors, leading its $12.7 million Series A.
Breyer will stay on Facebook’s board until its yearly director’s meeting on June 11th. In a departure note, Breyer wrote, “It has been a genuine honor to serve as an investor and board member since April 2005 as Facebook has grown from an emerging social network for U.S. college students to a global service that connects over a billion people. After over eight years of board service, it’s time to step aside in light of my other responsibilities, including my recent election to the Harvard University Corporation Board. I will leave the board knowing that Facebook is a global Internet leader with exceptional leadership within the company and on the board.”
Facebook tells me “Jim made many, many important contributions during his long tenure on the board and we were well-served by his presence. We will continue to have a strong relationship with Jim and going forward, we’re thankful we can continue to rely upon the tremendous depth and expertise of our recently expanded board.”
Breyer also has plenty of other responsibilities to handle beyond Harvard. He’s currently on the boards of Wal-Mart, Dell, News Corp., and several other companies.
His departure could leave another board seat open at Facebook. The social network’s other seats are currently occupied by Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Marc Andreessen, Erskine B. Bowles, Donald E. Graham, Reed Hastings, Peter A. Thiel, and the most recent addition, Susan Desmond-Hellmann.
Breyer’s financial expertise likely helped Facebook to navigate its early fundraising and keep Zuckerberg in firm control. That’s been crucial to allowing Facebook to concentrate on its user experience rather than make a quick buck for its investors.