Alex Karp

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Alex Karp
Karp in 2015 (standing)
Alexander Caedmon Karp

(1967-10-02) October 2, 1967 (age 56)[1]
New York City, US
EducationHaverford College (BA)
Stanford University (JD)
Goethe University (PhD)
Occupation(s)Co-founder and CEO, Palantir Technologies

Alexander Caedmon Karp (born October 2, 1967) is billionaire businessman, and the co-founder and CEO of the software firm Palantir Technologies.[2] As of February 2024, his estimated net worth is US$1.9 billion.[3]

Early life[edit]

Alexander Caedmon Karp was born on October 2, 1967, in New York City,[4][5] the son of a Jewish clinical pediatrician father and an African American artist mother,[6][7] Karp was raised in Philadelphia and graduated from Central High School in 1985.[8][9] He has said he struggled with dyslexia from an early age.[7]

Karp earned a bachelor's degree from Haverford College (Haverford, Pennsylvania) in 1989, a juris doctor (JD) degree from Stanford University in 1992, and a PhD degree in neoclassical social theory from Goethe University Frankfurt in 2002.[10][3][5] He was initially advised by Jürgen Habermas, but a disagreement regarding his dissertation topic led to him switching his adviser.[7] Karp's doctoral thesis, supervised by Karola Brede, was titled "Aggression in der Lebenswelt: Die Erweiterung des Parsonsschen Konzepts der Aggression durch die Beschreibung des Zusammenhangs von Jargon, Aggression und Kultur", which means "Aggression in the life-world: The extension of Parsons' concept of aggression by describing the connection between jargon, aggression, and culture."[11][12]


Karp started his career as a research associate at the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt.[4]

Karp has said he invested in startups and stocks after receiving an inheritance from his grandfather. His success led him to found London-based money management firm Caedmon Group to manage the money of high-net-worth individuals who were interested in investing with him.[2]

In 2004, along with Peter Thiel (who had been a classmate at Stanford) and others, he co-founded Palantir Technologies as CEO.[13] The New York Times ranked Karp the highest-paid CEO of a publicly traded company in 2020, the year the company went public, with compensation worth $1.1 billion.[14]

Other activities[edit]


Karp is known for making bold and provocative statements.[17]

Karp is a critic of short sellers, and said he loves "burning the short sellers".[18] He has compared them to cocaine addicts, and said that they "just love pulling down great American companies".[18]

Political views[edit]

Karp has described himself as a socialist[19] and a progressive, and said he voted for Hillary Clinton.[20] He espoused socialist views whilst at Stanford.[2] He has condemned "woke" ways of thinking, calling them the central risk to his company Palantir, and to the United States as a whole.[21] Karp has called Palantir a "counter-example" to companies he considers "woke".[21]

Views on the United States government[edit]

He has said that technology companies like Palantir have an obligation to support the U.S. military.[20] Karp has said that himself and Palantir are "active in defending the values of the West" and "our belief that the West is a superior way to live".[21] He has defended Palantir's contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the controversy over family separations, saying that while separations are "a really tough, complex, jarring moral issue," he favors "a fair but rigorous immigration policy".[22] He has said the U.S. government should have a strong hand in tech regulation[23] and that western countries should dominate AI research.[24]

Views of the Israel-Hamas war[edit]

Karp has made a number of remarks on the Israel-Hamas war strongly supporting Israel. Karp has strongly condemned the 2024 pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses, calling their views a "pagan religion" and "an infection inside of our society".[17][25] He further remarked that "the peace activists are war activists".[17] Karp has said that protestors should be sent to North Korea.[25] In December 2023, Palantir announced they would set aside 180 positions for Jewish college graduates, citing alleged antisemitism on college campuses related to the protests.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Karp lives in Grafton County, New Hampshire.[26] Karp also owns a property in Palo Alto, California.[27][3]

He is described as a wellness fanatic who swims, skis cross country, practices Qigong meditation and martial arts, and keeps Tai Chi swords in his offices.[13][28]


  1. ^ "Alex Karp". CNBC. October 6, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Greenberg, Andy (August 13, 2013). "How A 'Deviant' Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 14, 2024. Retrieved April 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Alexander Karp". Forbes. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  4. ^ a b Fortson, Danny (May 21, 2022). "Palantir chief Alex Karp: War is here — you need a pariah on your side". The Times. Archived from the original on June 21, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Curriculum vitae of Mr Alexander C. Karp – website of the German digital publishing house Axel Springer SE]
  6. ^ Richard Waters (October 2, 2020), Alex Karp, unconventional purveyor of powerful surveillance tools Financial Times.
  7. ^ a b c Steinberger, Michael (October 21, 2020). "Does Palantir See Too Much?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  8. ^ "Classmates". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Waters, Richard (October 2, 2020). "Alex Karp, unconventional purveyor of powerful surveillance tools". Financial Times.
  10. ^ "Alexander Karp". Bizjournals. Retrieved February 12, 2015.
  11. ^ "Aggression in der Lebenswelt : die Erweiterung des Parsonsschen Konzepts der Aggression durch die Beschreibung des Zusammenhangs von Jargon, Aggression und Kultur" [Aggression in the living world: expanding Parsons' concept of aggression by describing the connection between jargon, aggression and culture] (in German). Goethe University Frankfurt. May 22, 2003.
  12. ^ Karp, Alex. "Aggression in der Lebenswelt". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Hartmans, Avery. "The life and career of Alex Karp, the billionaire CEO who's taking Palantir public in what could be one of the biggest tech IPOs of the year". Business Insider. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Eavis, Peter (June 11, 2021). "Meager Rewards for Workers, Exceptionally Rich Pay for C.E.O.s". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 28, 2023.
  15. ^ Catrin Bialek (September 24, 2020), Medienkonzern: Friede Springer bringt Döpfner als ihren Nachfolger in Stellung Handelsblatt.
  16. ^ Karp resigns from the Supervisory Board of BASF SE BASF, press release of July 22, 2020.
  17. ^ a b c Haskins, Caroline (May 17, 2024). "'I'm the new Oppenheimer!': my soul-destroying day at Palantir's first-ever AI warfare conference". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  18. ^ a b Haselton, Todd (March 13, 2024). "Palantir CEO Alex Karp says short sellers 'love pulling down great American companies' to pay for their cocaine". CNBC. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  19. ^ Brown, Rob Copeland and Eliot (November 12, 2018). "Palantir Has a $20 Billion Valuation and a Bigger Problem: It Keeps Losing Money". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Ross Sorkin, Andrew (September 3, 2018). "Silicon Valley Doesn't Like Trump. It Can Still Work With the Government". The New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  21. ^ a b c d Hays, Gabriel (May 8, 2024). "Billionaire tech CEO calls wokeness the 'central risk' to America". Fox Business. Archived from the original on May 9, 2024. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  22. ^ Chafkin, Max (August 22, 2019). "The Complicated Politics of Palantir's CEO". Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  23. ^ Bursztynsky, Jessica (January 23, 2020). "Palantir CEO: Silicon Valley can't be on 'Palo Alto island' — Big Tech must play by the rules". CNBC. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  24. ^ Palmer, Annie (August 22, 2019). "Palantir CEO says Google shouldn't rule A.I." CNBC. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Thaler, Shannon (May 3, 2024). "Palantir CEO says Columbia protesters should do 'exchange program' in North Korea". New York Post. Archived from the original on May 18, 2024. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  26. ^ "Tech billionaire Alex Karp gives $180k to ousted hermit River Dave". Concord Monitor. August 19, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  27. ^ Allen, Mike (May 26, 2020). "Palantir CEO hits Silicon Valley "monoculture," may leave California". Axios. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  28. ^ Schubarth, Cromwell. "Palantir CEO says startup may leave Silicon Valley due to 'monoculture'". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved July 26, 2020.

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