Facebook Inc. (FB:US), operator of the largest social-networking service, said Accel Partners’ James Breyer, an early investor in the company, won’t stand for re- election to the board.
Breyer’s departure, disclosed in a filing yesterday, will be the first by a director since Facebook’s initial public offering in May. Accel Partners, a venture-capital firm based in Palo Alto, California, was an early Facebook backer, and led a $12.7 million investment in 2005.
Facebook has added two board members since the IPO, including Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco, in March, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer, in June. Breyer said he’s stepping down to focus on other responsibilities. Earlier this week, retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Breyer won’t stand for re-election to its board.
“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,” Breyer said in an e-mailed statement sent by Accel.
Breyer remains a director at News Corp. and Dell Inc. (DELL:US) Facebook didn’t say in the filing whether it would replace Breyer, who will step down at the company’s annual meeting on June 11.
Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has grown to more than 1 billion users and has a market valuation of more than $60 billion.
Prior to selling shares in the IPO, Accel owned 201.4 million shares valued at $7.65 billion, based on the offering price of $38. Accel currently holds (FB:US) 3.04 million shares, while Breyer indivudally owns 9.17 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Shares in Facebook rose 2.7 percent to $26.85 at yesterday’s close in New York, leaving the stock down 29 percent since the IPO.
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