Davos: Palantir CEO Alex Karp Talks Project Maven

Davos: Palantir CEO Alex Karp Talks Project Maven
Image source: CNBC Video Screenshot

CNBC Excerpts: CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and CNBC’s Sara Eisen Broadcast Live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Today, Thursday, January 23. Interviews included: Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker; Honeywell CEO Darius Adamcyzk; Workday Co-Founder and CEO Aneel Bhusri; Bain Capital Co-Chairman Stephen Pagliuca; Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries; Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman; NYSE President Stacey Cunningham; Palantir CEO Alex Karp; Paypal CEO Dan Schulman; Chevron CEO Michael Wirth; U.N. Secretary General Antonio; and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

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WHEN: Today, Thursday, January 23, 2020

WHERE: CNBC’s “Squawk Box” and CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” – Live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

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Following is the unofficial transcription of excerpts from CNBC interviews which aired on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F 6AM – 9AM) and CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM) today, Thursday, January 23rd live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


Links to video of the interviews are included below.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker talks trade and the 2020 elections

Penny Pritzker on China Trade:

PENNY PRITZKER: But we've been through a lot of pain to get where we're at today. And so, the question, ‘Is it all worth it?’ We didn't make any structural change and it cost us, about 10% of Wisconsin farmers are gone.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: So, you think it was not worth it? You think that this is hype?

PENNY PRITZKER: Well, I think we're not as far along as we were told we are.

Penny Pritzker on Democratic Party:

What's going on in the Democratic party is recognition that while wages are rising, they’re still not rising enough. That we have a lot of people that are struggling. We have a manufacturing recession going on. We still have challenges to deal with in terms of people being laid off because technology is, you know, supplanting their jobs.

Penny Pritzker on Warren Wealth Tax:

I don’t believe in a wealth tax. I don’t believe that will achieve the outcomes that are being promised. You know, should someone like me pay more in taxes? Yes. We pay a lot in taxes. But should we pay more to address inequality? Probably. But, I don’t think the wealth tax is the way to get there. I don’t think blowing up our health care system is the way to get there. So, I struggle with the policies.

Honeywell CEO Darius Adamcyzk Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Watch CNBC’s full Davos interview with Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk

Darius Adamcyzk on CapEx Spending:

I'm a little bit worried about second half in terms of how people are going to act, are they going to wait after election, is that going to have some impact? I see this year, a little bit different. I see this year as a little bit of weaker first half, but better second half based on trade, fiscal policies, etcetera.

Darius Adamcyzk on Trade Deal:

I like the fact that the Phase One deal was done. And you know, I think people are picking at the faults. But I think anytime two parties negotiating, and you can some make progress, it builds momentum. So, I'm thrilled that that happened.

Darius Adamcyzk on Boeing Crisis:

I think Boeing is going to solve these issues. I mean, they're a great American company. They're a great brand. I mean, I know 737 Max obviously is getting a lot of attention. And, you know, there's been some wrong steps perhaps. But I’m very confident that A) that plane is going to fly again.

Workday Co-Founder and CEO Aneel Bhusri Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri in Davos on his vision for company growth and more

Aneel Bhusri on Workday Future:

A big part is transitioning from being just really an HR software leader to now finance and planning and procurement. And that part of our business is now 20% of our business, the non-HR piece, and it's growing, you know, in the 40 to 50% range.

Aneel Bhusri on Machine Learning:

Machine learning is this great technology that lets you sift through massive amounts of data and make predictions.

These algorithms will actually predict the next right move for you and your career. It will automate audits, so do intelligent auditing on the finance side, where if it's been through enough audit cycles, they'll just highlight the exceptions instead of having to go through every transaction.

Aneel Bhusri on Blockchain Credentials: 

I think blockchain technology is looking for problems to solve. We actually found one to solve, which is credentials. And the idea is that an employee should be able to go from company to company and carry their credentials with them.

Bain Capital Co-Chairman Stephen Pagliuca Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Bain Capital co-chair Stephen Pagliuca on the state of private equity

Stephen Pagliuca on Private Equity Misnomer:

There's a misnomer out there with all the politics: private equity is not about cost cutting, it's about growth. No one wants to buy a company that is shrinking. And so, we spend all of our time thinking, how do we grow companies? How do we do more R&D? How do we invest in new products?

Stephen Pagliuca on Canada Goose Selling Like Hotcakes:

It's gone from like a $300 million company, to a $3 billion company. And it has a wide product line. When you go into stores today, fantastic sweaters. And what we found is millennials in today's market, they want something that's going to last, they want something that's functional. And so, Canada Goose has built beautiful lasting products that are functional and they're selling like hotcakes.

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries on 5G and the push for broadband

Mike Fries on Industry Moving Efficiently:

Yeah, I think the industry is moving very efficiently into OTT apps. So, if you think about our business, we're just now aggregating Netflix and Amazon Prime and YouTube. And consumers are happy about that. We're not losing as many customers in Europe. The streaming wars have come, but they're not as viral or problematic.

Mike Fries on Losing Customers:

We're losing, you know, in the Europe, maybe 1 to 2% of our customers a year. I think in the U.S. it’s 4 to 5%, if you include satellite. So, we're, you know, we're declining more slowly. But there are certainly frictional costs to that. It's a revenue stream we want to protect. And the way we're protecting it, we do the same thing Comcast is doing. Launching a really advanced version of our box that you can speak into, and go to Netflix and go to Amazon or go to BBC or wherever you want to go.

Mike Fries on Liberty Cash Hoard:

Last year, we bought about 3.2 billion worth of our stock. We did a tender offer at 27. Stocks at 20. So, I'm feeling very good about that. We think it's worth 27. But we've had some issues obviously with our investors, which we are addressing.

Mike Fries on Netflix Great Business:

He's going to have some challenges with Disney Plus, and Peacock and others getting into the game and holding back content. But Netflix, he's very specific about his strategy. And he's not going into sports, he's not doing advertising. He's spending 15 billion a year on original content. And that, you know, that'll work for a period of time I think. So, it's a great business.

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman on new partnership with Airbus

Adena Friedman on Airbus Partnership:

What they've done is they've done a partnership with a company that tracks every ticket price, every pre-trade and post-trade, right? So, before the purchase and after of every of every ticket price. And they're able to look at certain routes, certain regions in the world. And they can say, ‘Well, how much is that price change?’ They create an index on that. And they therefore are now creating a derivative that they can be traded.

Adena Friedman on 2020 IPO Market:

The pipeline of prospects, IPO prospects, is very strong. Very interesting. I would say that both in terms of private equity companies--private equity health companies, as well as technology companies, the biotech industry continues to be very strong.

NYSE President Stacey Cunningham Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

NYSE president: We can’t underestimate the value of the public markets

Stacey Cunningham on Changing IPO Markets:

We shouldn't categorize it as a bad year. It certainly was a good year. I think what we saw at the end of the year is investors start to ask questions that they hadn't really been asking before, as we saw the difference between companies performing well when they had strong profits or a path to profitability and those that had more explaining to do as to how they were going to get there.

Stacey Cunningham on 2020 IPO Market:

We have, you know, roughly 30 or so companies that have already filed with the SEC. Many more that are talking to us and looking to list in 2020. And you see a lot of interest in coming out to market tapping into what's there. But you see a slight shift in how they tell their stories.

Stacey Cunningham on Dual Class Shares:

If we were to say they can't be listed or they must have a Sunset provision, they're likely to stay private. And then investors don't get access at all. And that balance is what I'm focused on.

Palantir CEO Alex Karp Speaks with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Watch CNBC’s Full Interview with Palantir CEO Alex Karp at Davos

Alex Karp on ICE: 

We started this contract under Obama. And obviously, there's a lot of concern, legitimate concern about what happens on our border, how it happens, and what does the enforcement look like? Certainly, it's a de minimis part of our work, finding people in our country who are undocumented. But it's a legitimate complex issue. My personal position is we acknowledge the complexity. The people who are protesting, whom I respect, should also acknowledge that complexity.

Alex Karp on Trump:

I've been a card carrying progressive my whole life. My family is progressive. I have a degree in what amounts to progressive thought. Obviously, there are many things I would do differently. And I've never stopped being critical this administration. I'm not planning to vote for this administration. So, there are things I would do differently. The core issue though is who decides? And let me--to the people who want to reduce the complexity: it's commonly known that our software is used in operational context at work. Do you really think the warfighter is going to trust a software company that pulls the plug because something becomes controversial with their life? Currently, when you're a Warfighter your life depends on your software. They will never trust you if you pull the plug just because you're unpopular.

Alex Karp on Apple Privacy:

I believe that the government should decide things, and with the checks and balances involved in a court. The government needs to provide clear rules. Tech companies need to obey those rules. If there's a problem with those rules, we should go to court. And I think all companies should should basically, part of the problem is we need a clear codex of what you're allowed to do, under what context. When data can be encrypted and when it shouldn't.

Alex Karp on Bezos:  

Andrew Ross Sorkin: So, Saudi Arabia clearly considered an ally of this country. The administration's made that very, very clear. And yet just over the past 48 hours, there's been a huge question about whether the leader of that country was using malware in Jeff Bezos’ telephone?

Alex Karp: Well, first of all, we've always made the decision not to be involved in intrusive software. So, offensive attacks inside the cybercrime is precisely this context. Because in the cyber context, intrusive infiltrations are questionable often and done almost ubiquitously. But if we were involved in that country and those things, this would be a very serious discussion. It happens, we're not involved, and so, it's not a serious discussion. But we do we do talk very seriously and with consequences with our non-Western allies.

Andrew Ross Sorkin: Do you think it's plausible that he sent malware to hack Jeff Bezos?

Alex Karp: I don't know the details. I do know that it's plausible that a nation state can hack your phone in a -- fairly quickly.

Alex Karp on Project Maven:  

I can't discuss the specifics of a classified program, but I can say if this were true, I'd be very proud. And I have to say, you know, it's like now many people have criticized Google. My version of it is AI, military AI, I will determine our lives the lives of your kid. This is a zero-sum thing. The country with the most important AI, most powerful AI will determine the rules. That country should be either us or a Western country.

Alex Karp on IPO: 

Alex Karp: We've told the company we are going to IPO and we are preparing internally IPO. I think we will we will do very well in that context.

Andrew Ross Sorkin: And when you look though, at some of the other offerings taking place?

Alex Karp: Well, this is the thing: you can basically look at this last 10 years as a -- the clippable way of looking at Tech is that it was a bull market. The way we look at it, Palantir looked at it, for the last 10 years is it's a bull market for monopolistic companies and a bear market for everyone else. And if you look at it that way, you don't finance growth with the sweet vapors of foreign venture funds. You focus on growth with high quality revenue. That's what we've done for the last 10 years. We've told people internally that IPO will happen, and you'll see the results.

Paypal CEO Dan Schulman Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Watch CNBC’s full Davos interview with PayPal CEO Dan Schulman

Dan Schulman on Stakeholders:

It's multi-stakeholder and if you invest in one area, inevitably you serve customers better. When you serve customers better, regulators are happier. And then, obviously, shareholders benefit from that. But I think you have got to start somewhere.

Dan Schulman on Cyber Attacks:

Security has to be one of the biggest concerns that any business has. The average American business gets attacked 4 million times a year. The average consumer around the world loses an identity or as identity theft every two seconds. So, this is a major problem. Financial firms get attacked millions of times practically every day.

Chevron CEO Michael Wirth Speaks with CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Watch CNBC’s full interview with Chevron CEO Michael Wirth

Michael Wirth on Fink Letter:

We engage with BlackRock and Larry all the time, on a regular basis. There really wasn't anything in that letter that was a surprise.

Michael Wirth on Energy Industry:

The energy system is enormous and it's growing. And we need everything. And it's always in transition. It's always been in transition from the beginning. And it's always moved to a more reliable and affordable and cleaner state. And that will never end.

Michael Wirth on Markets:

We've moved from a period of time where there was a belief we were approaching peak oil. And now we've got, we're in an era of abundance. And it's really the U.S., and it's the unconventional horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, which has changed. So, you really have a market now that is less prone to these volatile excursions.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres Speaks with CNBC’s Sara Eisen on CNBC’s “Squawk on The Street”

CNBC’s full Davos interview with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres on Tensions:

We live in a difficult period where geopolitical tensions are also having an impact on the economy. Because they generated, as you know, the trade tensions, technology tensions are even bigger in my opinion than trade tensions. And I think that these have slowed down growth and has contributed to the difficulties that the global economy is facing.

Antonio Guterres on Iran U.S. Tensions:

It's also essential to create conditions for a platform allowing a discussion about the future. Because this tension cannot remain forever. Because if this tension remains forever, we are at the mercy of an incident that then can trigger an escalation that will become extremely dangerous.

Antonio Guterres on U.S. China Phase One:

The problem is not solved. And on the other hand, I think that especially the technology divides, is creating the risk. And the risk is that at a certain moment, the two biggest economies tend to polarize around them, dividing the global economy into two.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Speaks with CNBC’s Sara Eisen on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”

Watch CNBC’s full interview with Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff

Marc Benioff on New Capitalism:

We are introducing a new capitalism here. Stakeholder capitalism. Which is a more sustainable capitalism, a more equitable capitalism, a more fair, and more just, capitalism. And it's not like the old capitalism.

Marc Benioff on Change the World:

Everybody realizes that, you know, we're in a planetary emergency. And we need to make changes. And business is the greatest platform for change. And if you ask what the narrative has been here at Davos, there has been a tremendous narrative around what can we do to improve the state of the world?

Marc Benioff on Making Money Is Easy:

making money is easy, but doing the right thing is not. And eventually every company comes to that point. And we've seen that over and over again. We don't have to look at history to understand that leadership eventually is about what you do and who you are.

Marc Benioff on You Can Do Both:

If business is really the platform for change, and you have this amazing tech company platform, what are you doing with it? Are you using it to make the world better? Or are you just using it to make money? And I think that that really is, you know, the choice here in Davos and in some ways, it's a false choice. You can do both.

Marc Benioff on Elon Musk / Edison of Our Time:

I think he's the Edison of our time. I don't know where he comes up with these ideas. It's an incredible. I mean, one day he is drilling holes in the ground. The next day, he's landing a rocket on Mars, based on artificial intelligence. The next day he has the most incredible automobile going down the road by itself. And I mean, is an impressive entrepreneur and an impressive innovator.

Marc Benioff on Salesforce Growth:

We think that we're going to get to about 21 billion in revenue that's very exciting, from about 17 billion in the year that we're finishing. And I continue to see digital transformation as the number one thing on every CEOs mind.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)www.valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
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