Karp, whose Palo Alto, California-based company provides services to the Defense Department, CIA and FBI, blasted tech companies that refuse work with the federal government to keep the country safe.
“That is a loser position. It is not intelligible. It is not intelligible to the average person. It’s academically not sustainable. And I am very happy we’re not on that side of the debate,” Karp said in the interview with “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Last year, for example, Alphabet’s Google unit decided not to renew its contact for a Defense Department program known as Project Maven after an employee firestorm erupted with a petition urging CEO Sundar Pichai to keep Google out of the “business of war.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has defended such public-private contracts, saying last year his company will continue to do business with government agencies and warned that other tech companies about turning their backs. “If big tech companies are going to turn their back on the U.S. Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble,” Bezos said in October.
Karp also went off on the government shutdown, which entered Day 33 on Wednesday. “It’s damaging for the American brand to have something from the outside that doesn’t seem to make sense.”
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