Palantir, the American big data analytics firm with a close relationship with the United States government, has attracted its fair share of controversy. With its ties to government intelligence and law enforcement agencies, some tech workers in Silicon Valley have been critical of the company’s business. However, co-founder and CEO Alex Karp has a simple response: don’t work for Palantir.
Karp made these remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in a conversation with David Rubenstein, co-chair of private equity firm The Carlyle Group. Karp and his co-founder Peter Thiel, who has courted his own share of controversy, have shaken off criticisms over Palantir’s military contracts for years, and their position remains the same. The CEO has defended the company’s work, which he claims has prevented terrorism and human rights abuses.
Karp’s company has even eschewed Silicon Valley itself, moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Denver, Colorado — an aerospace and defense haven. The CEO says he leads the company from a place of patriotism, wanting to recruit employees “on the side of the west,” but he understands it’s not the right fit for everyone.