SUN VALLEY, Idaho — The moguls have arrived.
On Tuesday, dozens of titans of the business, media and tech worlds came out to play at the Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho for the start of Allen & Co.’s annual meeting of movers and shakers.
The invitation-only conference will include three days of seminars and meetings that are held away from the prying eyes of the public, which kick off Wednesday morning. So today was all about meeting and greeting each other at the posh retreat in Idaho’s picturesque Sawtooth Mountains.
Arrivals began at the Sun Valley Lodge around 11 a.m. local time, with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Comcast chief Brian Roberts, Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell, Paramount Global chairman Shari Redstone and investor Jeffrey Katzenberg among the first to check in, receive their agenda briefing books and strap on a mask before receiving a COVID test.
Between 12 and 2 p.m., the black sedans and silver vans with the “Sun Valley” logo plastered on the side shuttled in Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings, former Disney chief Bob Iger, current Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Google’s Philipp Schindler and name-brand investors Warren Buffett and Henry Kravis (who was in the driver’s seat for his entrance).
The rush of big-name attendees on the grounds before 3 p.m. was unusual for a Sun Valley start. The traditional peak time for arrivals is in the afternoon, which meant several reporters and camera operators hadn’t made it on to the scene to see the impressive lineup of early comers. The later wave included Michael Bloomberg, Sheryl Sandberg (in one of her first big outings since leaving Facebook), Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, investor Wendi Murdoch, CNBC anchor and New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin, author Bari Weiss, Snap’s Michael Lynton and Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei.
Some high-profile invited guests hadn’t shown up (at least not through the main entrance) by 6 p.m., including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Meta’s Mark Zuckerburg, Fox founder Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan Murdoch (current CEO of Fox Corp.) and James Murdoch (now out of the family biz and head of Lupa Systems), and new co-workers CAA’s Bryan Lourd and ICM’s Chris Silbermann. Though not all moguls who are invited by Allen & Co. end up coming to the Sun Valley retreat, and a few surprises are always possible. As Variety reported Monday, Rupert Murdoch, who was not on the initial list of guests obtained last month, decided to attend the event at the last minute and arrived in the evening on the Fourth of July holiday, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Throughout Tuesday, attendees — many of whom came with spouses, kids and dogs in tow — took very different approaches when it came to seeing and being seen.
Zaslav came over to the Duck Pond (aka the media holding pen) outside the lodge to speak with reporters not just when he first arrived, but also as he headed out to dinner. And he had a captive audience, because the Warner Bros. Discovery chief was the only one who stopped by to give a few on-the-record quotes at all.
Sandberg and Chapek were among those who seemed to manuever quickly out of sight of cameras and reporters. Hastings and Sarandos avoided the press together, ducking into a dark van posted immediately outside the entrance after check-in.
But Sun Valley guests had no problem rubbing elbows with each other. Iger and Grazer were seen eating lunch together with their spouses at the Konditorei cafe on the property. The two spent much of the day together, with Grazer also taking time to sit down and chat with retiring NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, John Miller. Zaslav and Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone chatted for a while upon seeing each other right in front of the lodge.
On Wednesday, Sun Valley guests will be up bright and early to head into the lodge for the morning sessions that typically focus on global macro-economic issues and global political concerns.