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Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has been lying low since he was forced out as Europe’s youngest head of state. Now, with the prospect of a criminal prosecution hanging over his head, it seems Kurz is turning to an old ally – Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.

Kurz is set to take over as chief global strategist at Thiel’s investment firm, Thiel Capital. He’s reportedly set to start with the advent of the new year.

Sebastian Kurz

According to Bloomberg, Kurz completely withdrew from politics earlier this month, setting off another change in power. Kurz has denied any and all accusations of wrongdoing, including accusations that he used public money to plant fake opinion polls in the press and bolster his political career.

Thiel has long cultivated connections in Europe, particularly among more conservative politicians, not just in Austria but in Italy, France and beyond. Kurz and Thiel, a native German, have long had a personal connection.

Before his downfall, Kurz maintained an image as a populist conservative, on par with Italy’s Matteo Salvini or France’s Marine Le Pen. Unfortunately for Kurz, a domestic scandal managed to force him from power. Now, he’s pivoting toward a globe-trotting career as a chief strategist in a major private investment firm.

After partnering with Elon Musk, Thiel scored major hits by becoming an early investor in Facebook, among other Silicon Valley home runs. Known for his conservative politics, Thiel has backed Republican candidates including President Trump.


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