Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg blasted for 'hanging out' with Bill Gates at 'billionaire summer camp'
Some of the biggest names in film, technology, design, and sports industries flew down to Sun Valley in rural Idaho to attend the annual "billionaire summer camp" for media and tech moguls where the combined net worth of attendees reportedly surpassed a staggering $700 billion, which is equivalent to the GDP of Saudi Arabia. Those present at the conference, however, faced considerable backlash online.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez were spotted arriving at the annual conference on Thursday. The 57-year-old magnate was dressed in a polo shirt and light blue pants coupled with white sneakers. Meanwhile, Sanchez, 51, donned a flowing skirt and sun hat - the perfect ensemble for the summer. The duo was spotted in a video captured by Fox Business Thursday, walking hand-in-hand and smiling for the cameras.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Walt Disney Company chair Bob Iger, and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg were also seen making their appearances on the third day of the annual summer camp that started on Tuesday, July 6. Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg cut a rather casual figure as he was spotted conferring with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The duo was photographed following a New York Times report that said their relationship had soured over disagreements during Donald J Trump's presidency.
Gates, who announced in May that was divorcing his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates, was seen at the conference with Evan Greenberg, the president and CEO of global insurance giant Chubb Limited.
According to the Daily Mail, the tech executives did not appear miffed on Thursday, July 8, over a class-action lawsuit, brought on by former President Trump, against social media and other big tech giants, including Twitter and YouTube, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet. At a press conference Wednesday, July 7, in New Jersey, Trump revealed that his suit also targeted big tech CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai, demanding free speech protections on their respective platforms.
The annual five-day conference, organized by Allen & Company, also saw several other famous faces, including CNN host Anderson Cooper, actress Candice Bergen, TV host Gayle King, and CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Meanwhile, political figures at the event included former CIA Director David Petraeus, former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy advisor Kevin Sabet, as well as billionaire Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. Several prominent social media handles lashed out at the so-called "billionaire summer camp."
"America’s billionaire oligarchs are so dysfunctional that they have to gather together at a summer camp in Sun Valley, Idaho every year to listen to business presentations in a hotel lobby because apparently, they don’t have any friends or family," said journalist Emerald Robinson, while political commentator Greta Van Susteren wrote, "I confess, I am a bit suspicious if these events benefit the nation :)" political commentator Greta Van Susteren wrote. "All this talk about summer camp for billionaires wants me to break out torches and pitchforks," reporter Barb Darrow added. "I spent a few days covering the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference, which is known as 'summer camp for billionaires.' This year's gathering signals a return to in-person dealmaking," journalist David Gura alleged. "In a movie or a video game, this is when someone would say, 'They've made it easy for us by gathering in one place,'" one Twitter user joked.
America’s billionaire oligarchs are so dysfunctional that they have to gather together at a summer camp in Sun Valley, Idaho every year to listen to business presentations in a hotel lobby because apparently they don’t have any friends or family.— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) July 7, 2021
I confess, I am a bit suspicious if these events benefit the nation :) “Media and tech titans prepare to gather for 'billionaire summer camp' at Sun Valley Lodge | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/P0zQAy2Mln— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) July 4, 2021
all this talk about summer camp for billionaires wants me to break out torches and pitchforks— Barb Darrow (@gigabarb) July 5, 2021
I spent a few days covering the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference, which is known as "summer camp for billionaires."— David Gura (@davidgura) July 8, 2021
This year's gathering signals a return to in-person dealmaking. https://t.co/xA1TcdhQdN
In a movie or a video game, this is when someone would say, "They've made it easy for us by gathering in one place."https://t.co/YYNcW5if2e— Dan Flash's Badass Shirts (@RossReelachart) July 6, 2021
Attendees blasted for 'hanging out' with Bill Gates
Many criticized those attending, like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, for socializing with Bill Gates after his fall from grace. "The Sun Valley billionaire’s “summer camp” gathers together the only people left in the world who don’t mind hanging out publicly with Bill Gates," journalist Emerald Robinson quipped in his second tweet about the summer camp. "@BillGates to make climate presentation to billionaires gathered in posh Sun Valley resort. Private jets for them. Blackouts for you," Junk Science founder Steve Miloy remarked sarcastically. "What degree does Bill Gates hold that gives him a right to be the expert?" another user quipped, showing the public unease about the clout wielded by powerful tech and media moghuls in the current geopolitical climate.
The Sun Valley billionaire’s “summer camp” gathers together the only people left in the world who don’t mind hanging out publicly with Bill Gates.— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) July 7, 2021
What degree does Bill Gates hold that gives him a right to be the expert?— Connor Bartesch (@ConnorBartesch) July 9, 2021