Billionaire tech mogul and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has reportedly hired embattled former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who abruptly stepped down from office amid allegations of corruption, to help run his investment fund.
From the archives (October 2021): Kurz to quit as Austrian chancellor amid corruption probe
Kurz will serve as a “global strategist” for California-based Thiel Capital beginning in the first quarter of 2022. The former chancellor reportedly confirmed his career move to Austrian media outlets.
Thiel, born in Germany, is a prominent political donor known for his conservative views. He supported former president Donald Trump’s bid for the White House in 2016 and remained a vocal backer during Trump’s term in office.
From the archives (February 2018): Peter Thiel is leaving Silicon Valley because it’s too liberal
Kurz, who was once Europe’s youngest elected national leader at age 31, resigned as Austria’s chancellor in October after prosecutors announced he was under investigation for allegations of corruption.
Kurz and Thiel appear to have known each other for years, the Financial Times reported.
Austrian authorities are investigating claims that Kurz and his political allies used public money to publish doctored polls in a bid to retain power. Kurz has denied wrongdoing.
From the archives (October 2017): Right-wing, anti-immigrant parties gain in Austria parliamentary elections; 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz likely to lead new government
Though he initially retained a role as the conservative Austrian People’s Party’s parliamentary leader, Kurz left politics entirely earlier this month, saying he wanted to spend time with his family.
He plans to commute between Europe and Thiel Capital’s U.S. headquarters, Reuters reported, citing the Austrian tabloid Heute. His pay package is reportedly far larger than the €300,000 ($340,000) salary he received as chancellor.
Thiel co-founded financial tech firm PayPal PYPL, -1.72% in 1998 and was an early investor in Facebook, now called Meta Platforms FB, -2.33%, and serves on its board. He was also a founder of Palantir Technologies PLTR, -2.57%, a software company involved in data analysis, and the hedge fund Clarium Capital Management.
His personal net worth is estimated to be $3.3 billion, according to Forbes.
From the archives (May 2019): Austria eyes September for new election after Russian-influence scandal