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Amazon chief: Seattle shouldn’t be worried about HQ2

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Amazon’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer business Jeff Wilke says Seattle shouldn’t worry too much over the online retail giant’s decision to expand outside of the city.

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Speaking yesterday at the Geekwire Summit, Wilke said that not everybody wants to live in the northwest. He thinks a different location will allow Amazon to recruit a different collection of employees.

“Not everybody wants to live in the Northwest,” Wilke said. “It’s been terrific for me and my family, but I think we may find another location allows us to recruit a different collection of employees.”

In September, Amazon announced it was searching for a city to host its second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2.” The company said it expects to invest more than $5 billion in construction, adding as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.

The announcement by Amazon was initially met with a bit of shock in Seattle. City and state leaders scrambled to make sense of the move. Gov. Jay Inslee reached out to the company to “better understand” its needs.

Since then, cities across the country have made pitches to Amazon.

Though Wilke’s comments might calm some nerves in the City of Seattle, it doesn’t bode well for cities in Western Washington hoping to be the next home of Amazon.

The deadline for cities to submit applications for HQ2 is October 19. Amazon will make its decision next year.

Wilke says he has no idea where the second headquarters is going.

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