Palantir CEO: Silicon Valley is 'marching off a political cliff'

Palantir Technologies CEO Alex Karp
Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Palantir CEO Alex Karp is uneasy that technology companies are mistaking business clout for political influence, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

"The Valley is marching off a political cliff," Karp reportedly told the FT this week. "The [tech companies] have all these monopolies and economic capital, and assume that it translates into political capital — but that isn't true."

Executives and leaders from some of the world's richest companies, like Apple, Microsoft, Tesla and Salesforce — many loud critics of the new administration — are now aiming to influence U.S. technology policy via groups like The White House Office of American Innovation.

Karp has a unique perspective on the nexus of politics and technology.

Palantir receives millions of dollars each year from the federal government, is backed by the CIA's venture arm, In-Q-Tel, and has been embroiled in legal battles with the government over its defense contracting practices.

Perhaps more telling: Palantir's co-founder and chairman, Peter Thiel, was one of Donald Trump's lone backers in Silicon Valley, and served on the president's transition team. One report went so far as to call Thiel the "shadow president."

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