The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that former executive and virtual reality genius Palmer Lucky was a rising star when he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton Group.
His donation sparked a downward spiral and backlash from his colleagues over at Facebook, Inc. When testifying in front of a Congressional oversight committee, Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied the departure had anything to do with politics at all.
As it later turned out, Mr. Luckey was put on leave, then fired, according to Wall Street Journal sources. Luckey recently told people the reason he was terminated was for his support of Donald Trump during the Presidential campaign in 2016.
Internal Facebook emails suggest that the matter was talked about at the highest levels of executives within the company. In the fall of 2016, after word of his donation spread, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives forced Mr. Luckey to voice his support for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, despite Mr. Luckey’s yearlong support of President Trump.
The Wall Street Journal claims they have also viewed these internal emails. Luckey, 26 hired an employment lawyer who argued to Facebook that it had violated California law, according to people familiar with the conversations, in pressuring the executive to voice support for Mr. Johnson and for punishing an employee for political activity.
Then Luckey and his Attorney negotiated a payout of a least $100 Million, representing an acceleration of stock awards and bonuses he would have received through July 2019, plus cash, according to the people familiar with the matter. The Stock awards and bonuses were the result of selling his virtual reality company, Oculus VR, to Facebook in 2014 for more than $2 Billion, a deal that netted him a total of around $600 Million.