Palantir CEO Lashes Out at Silicon Valley “Elite” in Letter to Investors

As his company prepares to go public and move headquarters, Alex Karp has slammed the tech sector’s “values and commitments”.

In Palantir’s Tuesday filing to go public, CEO Alex Karp took aim at fellow tech companies for their “values” and advertising-based business models.

“The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software,” Karp wrote. “But they do not know more about how society should be organised or what justice requires. Our company was founded in Silicon Valley. But we seem to share fewer and fewer of the technology sector’s values and commitments.”

Palantir is a software and services company that was co-founded in 2003 by billionaire investor Peter Thiel with the explicit aim of assisting the US intelligence community with counterterrorism investigations. It is currently based in Palo Alto, in the intellectual heart of Silicon Valley, but announced last week that it would be relocating its headquarters to Colorado.

Karp singled out working with the Chinese Communist Party as a business avenue that would be “inconsistent” with Palantir’s culture, in an apparent swipe at Google, which Thiel has in the past accused of “seemingly treasonous” behaviour in allegedly cooperating with the Chinese government.

“We have chosen sides, and we know that our partners value our commitment,” Karp continued. “We stand by them when it is convenient, and when it is not.”

Karp also decried the growing public pressure on tech companies to distance themselves from the US government, remarking that projects with federal agencies “have become controversial, while companies built on advertising dollars are commonplace,” in another apparent dig at tech giants like Facebook and Amazon.

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