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Alex Karp: 7 Things About the Unusual CEO of Palantir, a Secretive Data Startup Prepping For IPO

Alex Karp is the chief executive officer of the secretive big-data company, Palantir that has recently filed for a tech IPO, and making waves in the industry today. Palantir creates the software needed to manage and secure your data. 

Since then, the company has raised its final funding round in 2015, valuing it to approximately $20 billion. The valuation then dropped between $8 billion and $12 billion in line of discounted shares in secondary markets, Business Insider reported.

(Photo : OMR / YouTube)

Who is this CEO making big waves in the tech industry?

But who is Alex Karp? This CEO with a $1.3 billion networth seems to be tagged with a secretive company, unlike other officers in the industry. Here are things you probably didn’t know about him.

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1. He also founded Caedmon Group in 2002

Known by his full name Alexander Karp, this American businessman is the CEO and co-founder of Palantir Technologies, a software company with headquarters in Palo Alto, California. In 2002, he also founded Caedmon Group. 

2. He is a doctorate degree holder in neoclassical social theory

He first earned his Bachelor’s degree from Haverford College, and took up a doctorate degree in jurisprudence from Stanford University before receiving the PhD in neoclassical social theory at the University of Frankfurt.

3. Recognized by his peers as an ‘unusual leader,’ he has a distinctive hairstyle

You can easily identify Karp from the crowd because of his hairstyle and this person also likes to wear athletic attire in bright colors. He joined as CEO back in 2004, and was since tagged a very unusual leader.

4. He built what could be the biggest IPO in 2020

This 52-year-old took the path of what his counterparts have not seen in their perspective. The company Palantir Technologies has been known to be a “secretive” business startup, transforming into a multi-billion office that could be one of the biggest IPOs this year.

5. He is pleasant to work with

Potential business partners, listen. Karp is also very pleasant to work with at work. In fact, there is currently a Quora question posted asking about what it is like to work with him.

A Quora member Carl Myers wrote, “I never worked directly with him, and only exchanged a few pleasantries in the hall, but I would say that working *for* him was a positive experience. He is blunt and transparent to an almost-dangerous degree. He uses the phrase, ‘HR told me not to say this but…’ at least once per all-hands (we had them monthly). He cares deeply about Palantir and its employees and doing good in the world.”

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He added, “He has become much more political (as in, PR and company politics) and gotten much better at diplomacy since I started working for Palantir back in 2009, but he never seems disingenuous to me. I think if he ever thought he had to be disingenuous, he would quit. He has enough money, he doesn’t need Palantir, he just wants to do good in the world, I think. If I had to stack rank all of Palantir’s upper management by competence, I think I would place him first.”

6. He practices martial arts

Karp is no person to mess up with. Aside from being a highly unusual man, he is said to have Tai Chi swords in his office, and practices martial arts even in the hallways of their building. 

7. Karp is born to parents who are pediatrician and artist

Alex Karp was raised in Philadelphia and born to parents who were an artist and pediatrician. He is also a “self-described socialist.”

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