Amazon.com, Inc., the largest internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization, said Thursday that it plans to open a second headquarters, or Amazon HQ2, in North America.
The electronic commerce and cloud computing company said it expects to grow HQ2 into a full equal to its current headquarters in Seattle, the largest city in Washington state in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, which includes 33 buildings totaling 8.1 million square feet, or more than 750,000 square meters, and houses more than 40,000 employees.
Saying it will invest over 5 billion U.S. dollars in construction, Amazon claimed that the second headquarters will include as many as 50,000 jobs as part of its ongoing job creation.
"Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We're excited to find a second home," Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said while announcing that the company is opening the Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposal, or RFP, for local and state government leaders in the United States.
Amazon noted that it has a preference for HQ2 to be in a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, the potential to attract and retain technical talent, particularly in software development and related fields, and communities that "think big" when considering locations and real estate options.
To lure cities and states to join the bidding for HQ2, Amazon said that in addition to its direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operations of HQ2 are expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.
Currently with more than 380,000 employees worldwide, Amazon said HQ2 will be a complete headquarters, with new teams and executives, not a satellite office of the current headquarters, or HQ1.
While the company said it will let existing senior leaders across the company decide whether to locate their teams in HQ1, HQ2 or both, it expects that employees who are currently working in HQ1 can choose to continue working there, or they could have an opportunity to move if they would prefer to be located in HQ2.