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Photos: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images (left) and John Matze's LinkedIn (right)

John Matze, CEO and co-founder of far-right friendly social media platform Parler, said on LinkedIn Wednesday that he has been terminated.

Why it matters: Parler has been at the center of controversy since Amazon Web Services, Apple and Google unplugged the network last month for its lack of content moderation related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

  • In a memo obtained by Fox News, Matze said that the company's board of directors, controlled by Republican political donor Rebekah Mercer, terminated him last Friday.
  • He did not participate in the decision, and the reason for the firing remains unknown.

What he's saying: "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," Matze wrote. "For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation."

  • "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."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva: It will be interesting to see who replaces Matze, and whether this person can achieve whatever the board thinks he failed at — which is no small task, assuming Parler wants to keep its extreme free speech policies.

The big picture: Matze emerged from the Capitol riots as a defender of the institution of free speech. He refused to give in to companies he called "anti-competitive actors."

  • Matze will take a few weeks off before looking for new opportunities, he told Parler colleagues.

Go deeper: Podcast: The fall of Parler

Go deeper

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.