Ex-Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to work for tech billionaire Peter Thiel

Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has a high-ranking managerial job lined up for the new year — working for a controversial U.S. data analytics company, according to Austrian media.

Kurz will be a global strategist for the Silicon Valley-based Palantir Technologies, whose founder, the German-American billionaire Peter Thiel, is a long-time acquaintance of the former chancellor, the Austrian daily Heute reported Thursday.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was the first outside investor in Facebook, was also an early backer of Donald Trump’s political ambitions.

Palantir Technologies, which specializes in big data analytics, has been embroiled in a number of controversies. In June 2020, U.S. lawmakers criticized Palantir’s participation in the U.S. government’s COVID-19 tracking program (HHS), alleging the company was using HHS health data to help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) track and arrest undocumented immigrants.

The company also took over a Pentagon defense contract known as Project Maven after Google dropped out due to a backlash.

Kurz resigned in October and announced his withdrawal from politics in December after being mired in a corruption probe. His annual income at Palantir will be over €300,000, according to Heute.

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