After a year spent searching for and failing to find the perfect location, Amazon has announced that it plans to split its proposed second US headquarters in two.
Despite many cities competing to house Amazon's "HQ2" because of the thousands of job opportunities and millions that would be generated in tax revenues, the retail colossus has decided to instead split its headquarters over two cities. This is reportedly because it found no single location that had enough skilled technology workers to staff one facility.
Amazon has said that the second headquarters would be the same size as the first headquarters, located in Seattle, and that it would invest $5bn in the facility while creating as many as 50,000 jobs for the area over the next 10–15 years.
The proposed plans to split HQ2 in two will mean housing 25,000 staff in each location.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced 20 locales had made it to its finalists list, including New York, Chicago and Washington, DC. Although the announcement that it would need to be spread across two cities may be frustrating for Amazon and disappointing for the cities hoping they were in with a chance, it makes strategic sense in terms of recruitment.
"By building two headquarters, Amazon can tap different geographic regions for talent, including some who may not want to move too far from home," reported The Wall Street Journal. "It may also not be competing with other major tech giants in a given area, like it does with Microsoft in the Seattle area. The company will continue hiring experts in machine learning, AI and supply chain – all areas Amazon currently hires for in Seattle."
However, the company has faced heavy criticism for the way it tried to encourage cities to compete for its facility. The Wall Street Journal recently described its tactic as an "unusually public beauty pageant".
The two winning cities are expected to be announced later this week.