Media moguls, technology upstarts and political leaders converge next month on Sun Valley, Idaho, lured to the mountainside retreat by the promise of hobnobbing with their fellow elite at Allen & Co.’s annual confab.
Elon Musk, the Tesla founder, is perhaps the biggest name among new attendees at this year’s gathering. The guest list obtained by Variety overflows with Hollywood players such as CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom president Philippe Dauman and Paramount chief Brad Grey, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, the Weinstein Co.’s Harvey Weinstein, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, Walt Disney Co. chairman Bob Iger and COO Thomas Staggs, Liberty Media’s John Malone, NBC Universal chief Steve Burke and Time Warner Inc. head Jeff Bewkes.
Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James, who will be taking the reins at 21st Century Fox next month, are expected to attend, as is outgoing chief operating officer Chase Carey.
Hollywood’s talent agencies are represented by the likes of CAA’s Bryan Lourd and ICM’s Chris Silbermann, while media and technology investors who made the cut include Casey Wasserman of Wasserman Media Group, Jonathan Nelson of Providence Equity, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, and Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz.
AOL chief Tim Armstrong, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Dropbox founder Drew Houston, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Garrett Hoffman are among the Silicon Valley set. In terms of next generation players, there’s Magic Leap founder Rory Abovitz, the augmented reality pioneer flush with cash from Google, as well as Sara Blakely, founder of the hosiery company Spanx, and Airbnb entrepreneur Brian Chesky.
David Friedberg, who recently made waves after selling the Climate Corp., a tech company that uses data to warn farmers about weather fluctuation, to Monsanto for $1 billion, has joined the list of conference guests. Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta is another new face, having generated headlines after Google Capital led an investment group that raised $100 million for the service that connects consumers with service providers such as contractors and dog sitters.
Sun Valley boasts a number of closed-door panels that delve deep into social, environmental and economic issues. Based on the guest list, it looks like recent scrutiny of police violence might bubble up. Wisconsin sheriff David Clarke, a defender of police actions that led to the deaths of Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., is among the invitees.
Foreign leaders invited to the gathering include Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexico’s finance secretary; Juan Carlos Pinzon Bueno, former defense minister of Colombia; and Yousef Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States.
The conference attempts to keep the press at arm’s length, requiring reporters to stay in designated areas. A few journalists are allowed to cross the velvet rope, among them Diane Sawyer, Charlie Rose, the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos, New York Times reporters Andrew Ross Sorkin and Tom Friedman, and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.