Longtime Facebook board member Jim Breyer stepping down

Jim Breyer, who made billions betting early on Facebook, will not seek re-election at the company shareholder meeting June 11.

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Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.
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Jim Breyer, the venture capitalist whose firm Accel Partners made an early bet on Facebook, is stepping down from Facebook's board, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.

Bryer courted co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in Facebook's early days and eventually got him to agree to take a $12.7 million investment that valued the company at $93 million. What a bet that turned out to be -- for Breyer and his firm. Accel sold $2.1 billion worth of shares into Facebook's IPO last May. Last October, Breyer personally cashed in more than $81.1 million in Facebook shares, according to a SEC filing.

Breyer, who also serves on boards of Dell and Wal-Mart, will serve as director until Facebook's annual meeting on June 11.

In a statement emailed to CNET, Breyer confirmed that he is stepping down to focus on other responsibilities, including his recent election to the Harvard University Corporation Board.

Breyer said it was a "genuine honor" to serve as a Facebook investor and board member.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNET that it will continue to have a strong relationship with Breyer going forward. "Jim made many, many important contributions during his long tenure on the board and we were well-served by his presence."

"I will leave the board knowing that Facebook is a global Internet leader with exceptional leadership within the company and on the board," Breyer added.