Amazon’s HQ2 search team liked Raleigh more than Bezos did, new book says

·2 min read

N&O Innovation and Technology Newsletter: May 14, 2021

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Brad Stone’s new book about Amazon is full of interesting tidbits and stories about billionaire Jeff Bezos and the e-commerce giant he created.

But one, in particular, stood out to me: Amazon’s HQ2 search team liked Raleigh so much it proposed the city should be among three final candidates for the campus. The other recommended finalists: Philadelphia and Chicago.

In the end, none of the three were selected. After submitting its decision to Bezos and his executive team, Raleigh was nixed. Instead five other cities, including the eventual winners D.C. and N.Y., were put forward.

I spoke with Stone about his new book, how HQ2’s priorities changed and what Amazon liked and disliked about Raleigh.

[Read more from our conversation here]

Philanthropy funds the Innovate Raleigh fellowship. Consider supporting philanthropy-funded journalism by going to www.newsobserver.com/donate

Red Hat employees walk back to their Raleigh headquarters after a meeting at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.
Red Hat employees walk back to their Raleigh headquarters after a meeting at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.

(Red Hat employees walk in downtown Raleigh.)

Tech news from the Triangle

  • Fidelity is expanding in Durham by launching new line of business, creating 500 jobs. [N&O]

  • Red Hat planning 500-job hiring spree as demand for edge computing grows. [N&O]

  • Mark Rein, Epic Games co-founder, donates land for conservation in Granville County. [N&O]

  • Morrisville cybersecurity firm JupiterOne is on a tear. [N&O]

  • Tergus Pharma opens its new headquarters in Durham Thursday, bringing with it almost 150 new jobs. [N&O]

  • Amazon opening $500M warehouse in Johnston County, hiring 500. [N&O]

  • Council for Entrepreneurial Development names interim exec Kelly Rowell as CEO. [WRAL]

  • ChannelAdvisor plans to hire 100 new employees. [TBJ]

What I’m reading

  • Colonial Pipeline paid hackers $5M ransom. [BBG]

  • Bottom drops out of the red-hot market for electric vehicle startups. [NYT]

  • WSJ profiles Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is presiding over Epic Games vs. Apple. [WSJ]

  • Where have all the Uber and Lyft drivers gone? [WaPo]

  • The cobalt pipeline: Tracing the path from deadly hand-dug mines in Congo to consumers’ phones and laptops. [WaPo]

  • Coinbase revenue tripled last quarter. [CNBC]

Other Triangle business

  • A record number of Triangle homes have sold for $1 million+ so far this year. [N&O]

  • A redevelopment deal for downtown Durham fell apart. Why and what happens next. [N&O]

  • His logo made the Carolina Mudcats tens of millions of dollars. He got none of it. [N&O]

  • ‘Top Chef’ star plans his comeback with a new Mexican restaurant. Here are his plans. [N&O]

Let me know what you’re seeing. Email me at zeanes@newsobserver.com. Tweet me @zeanes. Call me at 919-829-4516.

Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.

This newsletter was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate