Amazon clarifies top exec's HQ2 comments

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In front of a live audience at the Geekwire Summit, Amazon top exec Jeff Wilke talked about HQ2, a second North American headquarters Amazon plans to build. His statement led many to believe that the Pacific Northwest was out of the running for HQ2. On Wednesday, Amazon issued a clarification on his statement.

Wilke, CEO of Worldwide Consumer for Amazon, explained why the company is looking for another city, and said it’s not a knock against its current home of Seattle.

“We love Seattle. 2,000 square feet, 6,000 new jobs are coming here,” he said. “It’s been a great home for us and it’ll continue to be a great home.

“It's (more) room and talent and sort of diversity of environment for people,” he continued. “Not everybody wants to live in the Northwest and it's been terrific for me and my family, but I think we may find another location that allows us to recruit a different collection of employees.

“The number of times in the last few weeks, I’ve had very smart people say, ‘I’m convinced it will be blank.' and blank is different in lots of cases, so, we’ll see,” said Wilke. “October 19th is the deadline for the RFP and we’ll be very data-based in our approach.”

Wilke added the high-profile, headlining grabbing gifts from cities like a cactus from Tucson won’t sway the company’s decision.

“I think we’re going to be more practical,” Wilke chuckled.

On Wednesday, a company spokesperson insisted Wilke’s comments did not signal that the Northwest wouldn’t land the second headquarters location.

“We will give serious consideration to every HQ2 proposal we receive from across North America, including from communities across the Pacific Northwest,” Amazon said in a statement emailed to KING 5.

When asked why there was a need to issue a clarification, the spokesperson added: "some reporters have inferred that cities in the PNW will not be considered, and this is not correct."

© 2017 KING-TV


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