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Politics is a big topic at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attending the event for the first time. And President Donald Trump's policies and the political process have been in the spotlight in both the conversations on stage and off.
CBS CEO Les Moonves said in an interview that at least some of Trump's proposed agenda could be positive for U.S. business.
"There's deregulation obviously. There's talk of tax reform. There's a lot of big business things that are on the table that would help businesses," said Moonves. "Whether they come to fruition, we don't know. Obviously it's a more user-friendly FCC than it was before; somebody who's very open to broadcasters and we like that as well. The Trump administration ... has posed some challenges for our news division as well."
WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell agreed.
"If President Trump can implement his agenda of infrastructure spending, of less regulation and lower tax. If he can, that's a boost for the U.S. economy at a time it probably needs it," he said.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav also praised the potential for tax and regulatory reform. "Overall if there's less regulation it's more positive," said Zaslav. "From that perspective, I think it's likely to be a favorable environment for business here."
Barry Diller, on the other hand, attacked the Trump administration's approach to net neutrality, immigration and environmental policy.
"I think it's just a joke and hopefully will be over relatively soon. It inexplicably began and will inexplicably end," he said.
Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, said he thinks that the chance of President Trump enacting tax reform is unlikely, though he hopes it happens. "I have hoped it would happen during the Obama administration. I have always hoped it would happen, certainly repatriation, which is a true craziness in terms of competitiveness and fairness ... but I don't know, I think this administration will have difficulty getting anything done."
On the other end of the political spectrum from newcomers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are longtime Sun Valley attendees Mark Pincus — Zynga's founder — and Reid Hoffman — LinkedIn's co-founder and chairman. They've founded a start-up called "Win the Future," which aims to crowdsource ideas for the Democratic Party, engage millions more in the process, and help Democrats win more elections.
"We have an underlying ethos that is pro-social, pro-planet and pro-jobs," said Pincus. "We want to reach out to everybody who feels like the bar is too high for them to actually have any impact in the voice and choice. ... We want to make it easier for people to get involved upstream much earlier."
"I don't want to sound geeky but what we've spent our careers doing is designing these social systems that enable millions of people to interact with each other and coalesce and drive outcomes," said Pincus of his and Hoffman's experience building Zynga, LinkedIn and PayPal before that. "We said: Why shouldn't we try to bring that innovation into politics and have millions of people like that they have voice and choice?"
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Marc Pincus' title at Zynga.