Amazon Rejected Philly HQ Because Future CEO Hates the Eagles, Book Claims
Andy Jassy, who is expected to take over from Jeff Bezos in the fall, is a big New York Giants fan
The future CEO of Amazon’s passion for the New York Giants may have ruined the City of Brotherly Love’s chances of scoring the company’s second headquarters, according to a new book.
In the recently published Amazon Unbound, author Brad Stone makes the case that Andy Jassy, who is expected to take over from Jeff Bezos in the fall, spoke out against Philadelphia landing the $5 billion HQ2 project at an internal meeting in June 2018.
“Andy Jassy, according to one person’s recollection, opined that he disliked the city, which was a bitter rival of his favorite football team, the New York Giants, and suggested that he and his employees would never want to live there,” Stone wrote.
Although Jassy seemed to be joking, the remarks appear to have played a part in Amazon ultimately deciding to split its new headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia. Amazon later killed plans for its Long Island City, Queens location amid protests from lawmakers including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and decided to increase the size of its Virginia property as well as distribute 25,000 employees across its other U.S. offices, per PhillyVoice.
“Some members of the HQ2 team, coming off months of detailed, quantitative work, later expressed exasperation that the process was now exposed to the arbitrary personal preferences of senior executives,” Stone wrote. One of the team members is quoted in the book as saying, “We genuinely thought we were working on the most important economic development project in a generation and were going to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”
An Amazon spokesperson had no comment about the material in Stone’s book related to Philly’s bid for the project, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
For what it’s worth, Jassy does sound like a legit sports fan and his Twitter profile picture shows him at Super Bowl XLVI when the Giants beat the Patriots 21-17.
“I have a sports bar I built in my basement called the ‘Helmet Head.’ I have seven TVs down there,” Jassy told the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2009. “I grew up in New York and my dad, who’s really a sports freak, had season tickets to the Rangers and Giants, so I went to those games very regularly as a kid.”
Guess that explains why Amazon didn’t put its new HQ in Dallas, either. However, it is a little perplexing that Jassy would have signed off on the company setting up shop in Arlington County as that is very close to the home of the Washington Football Team, another Giants rival in the NFC East.
Maybe it is less about Jassy loving the Giants and more about him really, really hating the Eagles.
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