LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is not shy when expressing his opinions of President Donald Trump.
The entrepreneur, who now sits on Microsoft’s board of directors and is a partner at venture capital firm Greylock, campaigned publicly for Hillary Clinton and in March said that Trump was even worse than he feared.
In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at the Disruptor 50 event in San Francisco on Wednesday night, Hoffman had perhaps his harshest words yet about the president, calling him “worse than useless” and saying that he’d “take someone randomly picked from a phone book” over him as president.
He singled out Trump’s criticism of legitimate news sources like CNN as “basically criminal negligence” because we need to have “robust media functions” to check abuses by government.
Hoffman also discussed entrepreneurialism and the challenges of turning a start-up into a successful high-scale business.
One challenge, he said, is maintaining a consistent culture as a company goes through different stages — the CEO of a 50-person company might be able to interview every new employee for cultural fit, for example, while a 10,000-person company needs systems in place to communicate the company’s cultural mandates to new hires.
He also suggested that Uber, while it did many things right, missed the transition from being “pirates” to being “navy” — that is, from scrappy start-up to powerful established company — and that some of its cultural problems may have arisen because of that.
Here’s the full comment from Hoffman regarding Trump:
“You know I obviously last year campaigned relatively publicly and vocally against Trump as a candidate. I also think he is, you know, worse than useless as a president. I sometimes say at dinner parties, I’d take someone randomly picked from a phone book over him as a selection for president. And I think we’re seeing all kinds of play on that. Everything from, you know, a broad-based incompetence when it comes to very key race and unity issues … you know, like calling CNN ‘fake news’ is I think actually basically criminal negligence, right, because it’s like ‘no, we need to have robust media functions.'”