Parler CEO John Matze announced late Wednesday that he has been terminated as the company’s CEO.
Matze said that the Parler board on Jan. 29 decided to terminate his position, adding that he did not participate in the decision.
The Parler board is controlled by Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer.
Matze said in a statement, “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.
“Over the past few months, I’ve met constant resistance to my product vision, my strong belief in free speech, and my view of how the Parler site should be managed. For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation,” Matze added.
“Over the past few weeks, I have worked endless hours and fought constant battles to get the Parler site running but at this point, the future of Parler is no longer in my hands.”
Matze said that he plans on taking a few weeks off.
“After that, I’ll be looking for new opportunities where my technical acumen, vision, and the causes I am passionate about will be required and respected,” he said.
“I want to thank the Parler employees, the people on Parler, and Parler supporters for their tireless work and devotion to the company. They are an amazing group of diverse, hardworking, and talented individuals, and I have the utmost respect for them. Many of them have become my second family,” Matze added.
“I want to thank all the people of Parler that supported me and the platform. This has been the true American Dream: an idea from a living room to a company of considerable value. I’m not saying goodbye, just so long for now.”
In early January, Parler was removed from the Apple and Google‘s app stores over what the two big tech giants alleged was a lack of moderation by the platform of violent content posted by its users—a claim that Parler denies. Shortly after, Parler was taken offline by Amazon’s services due to what Amazon said was Parler’s “repeated violations” of Amazon’s terms of service.
This story is developing, please check back for updates.