Amazon HQ2 Vetting Process Put Philadelphia Among Top Contenders, But Personal Preferences of Executives Took Over

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Philadelphia Skyline by Mari Ma Flickr Creative Commons
Image via Mari Ma, Flickr Creative Commons
book Amazon Unbound
Amazon Unbound

According to a new book by journalist Brad Stone, Philadelphia came much closer than previously thought to being chosen as the home for Amazon’s HQ2 office expansion, writes Jacob Adelman for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

After a data-driven vetting process was completed, the City of Brotherly Love was selected as one of the top three contenders for the eCommerce giant’s second headquarters, alongside Chicago and Raleigh, N.C.

But then the process gave way to what members of the search team saw as “the arbitrary personal preferences of senior executives,” wrote Brad Stone in Amazon Unbound.

When Philadelphia was discussed as a potential location at a June 2018 meeting, Andy Jassy, leader of Amazon Web Services and future chief executive of Amazon, “opined that he disliked the city, which was the bitter rival of his favorite football team, the New York Giants,” wrote Stone.

The football rivalry meant that he and his employees would never want to live in Philadelphia.

While he seemed to be joking, the remarks pushed the process from a data-based one into a personal preference territory.

In the end, the project was handed to Arlington County, Va.

Read more about the Brad Stone book’s revelations in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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