Hedge-fund billionaire and major conservative donor Robert Mercer is stepping down from his position as co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies.
In a letter to employees obtained by Business Insider, Mercer said he had become an object of press scrutiny in the past year, referencing his activity as a major conservative donor. The hedge-fund founder had previously stayed mum about his political beliefs.
In addition to leaving his position at Rentech, Mercer announced in the letter that he will also sell his stake in the far-right news website Breitbart News to his daughter Rebekah Mercer.
The press has also intimated that my politics marches in lockstep with Steve Bannon’s. I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him. However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s.
Without individuals thinking for themselves, society as a whole will struggle to distinguish the signal of truth from the correlated noise of conformity. I supported Milo Yiannopoulos in the hope and expectation that his expression of views contrary to the social mainstream and his spotlighting of the hypocrisy of those who would close down free speech in the name of political correctness would promote the type of open debate and freedom of thought that is being throttled on many American college campuses today. But in my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate. I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him.[contentcards url=”http://www.businessinsider.com/robert-mercer-leaving-rentech-breitbart-news-2017-11″ target=”_blank”]