Chamath Palihapitiya: Trump and Amazon are closer than you might think

What Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has in common with President Trump

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump may have had their differences, but Amazon's business is in fact quite well aligned with Trump's agenda, said Chamath Palihapitiya, a partner at Social Capital.

"They embrace the structural atomic level of value creation that the Trump presidency deeply agrees with," he said.

For example, Amazon's pledge to add 100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs in US by 2018 and hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years are a good fit for the Trump era, said Palihapitiya.

"President Trump characterizes this as U.S. exceptionalism and Bezos characterizes it as investing in a great business," he said. "The language may be different, but the actual result is the same."

Amazon was seen as a prime target for Trump's ire following a campaign season in which the Bezos-owned Washington Post hit Trump with tough and often critical reporting. Trump in turn criticized Amazon for what he said was running a monopoly.

"Believe me, if I become president, oh do they have problems," Trump said at a rally in February 2016. "They're going to have such problems."

Bezos, in return, offered to blast the presidential candidate into space.


The relationship may have thawed: Bezos was among a number of tech titans to visit Trump Tower for a presidential roundtable in December.

That said, there continue to be vast areas of disagreementt. For instance, after Trump's controversial executive order clamping down on immigration from certain countries, Bezos emailed staff to make clear that Amazon did not support the President's move.

(L to R) Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon; Larry Page, chief executive officer of Alphabet; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook; then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence and then-President-elect Donald Trump meet at Trump Tower, December 14, 2016.
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Palihapitiya has said Amazon is the most important company on the planet and dumped all his Facebook stock, where he was once an executive, to move invest it into the e-commerce giant, he previously told CNBC. He's stated in the past that Amazon will reach a $3 trillion valuation in 10 years.

"The thing with companies that do so many things is that they can lose focus," he said. "What Jeff has done to mitigate that risk is to start elevating people and calling them CEOs and giving them the wide berth so that they are functional company builders."

— with reporting from CNBC's Josh Lipton