The Briefing Room: Jay Carney explains rationale behind new Amazon HQ locations

Jay Carney, SVP of global corporate affairs for Amazon, explains why New York City and Virginia were selected as the locations for Amazon's coveted HQ2.
8:50 | 11/13/18

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Transcript for The Briefing Room: Jay Carney explains rationale behind new Amazon HQ locations
We want to start with top story everywhere today. Are calling Rebecca Jarvis joins us now from New York City was a very special guest who might be familiar to some viewers of this program are back up. Indeed Rick thanks so much yes that's right two cities took the cake today and Amazon's grade bake off from new York and Arlington Virginia. Named bid to new place is a four Amazon's HQ to they'll get to split between them 50000 jobs. And five billion dollars in investment and our special guest today joining us to discuss is Jay Carney. Amazon's SBP's. Of global corporate affairs great to have you with yesterday. Thank you for having you back it's great to be on. So let's talk about this this process lasted over a year 238. Communities why did you end up splitting it between tale. Well we begin the process. Thinking that we would find the location for our second headquarters. That we would. Create 50000 plus jobs in that city and bring about five million dollars to mourn investment. As we went along especially after we narrowed it down to money from the original 238. We really dug in on what our most important criteria were what were the driving factors and and really them the most important of all with talent. You know 50000 is a big number. And need to work tech company we need a lot of tech talent we need we needed to go to a place that had. And access to existing talent and also place that would be attractive to folks that we've been recruiting to move. New York and Washington. Fit the bill the reason why we decided to split into his because. We would knew we would have more success. Recruiting and getting that talent if we divided it into rather than trying to find. Or or bring 50000 new people to one location new York and Washington both have existing pools of tech talent. They're also a world class cities that people want to move to and so here competing with other companies for talent and you can say. Come to. The Washington area Arlington Virginia come to New York City. Or come to Seattle we feel like we have a lot to offer potential and the giants. I gotta say Jay bell I've been getting emails all day long from colleagues in Chicago in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh who are saying. Of course we have talent here wiping Amazon she was asked if this is really about Hamlet. Well that it scale I mean at 50000 is a lot let me play for this in perspective and 25000 is a lot to. The average size of fortune a top fortune 500 companies top Tandy. Headquarters is about eleven or 121000. So each of these will be double the size of that average. Not counting the 46000. Folks we have here in Seattle so and were tech heavy company we need we need technology. Folks to to fill these positions in these corporate headquarters. And and there's a lot of competition for that talent so. This that the scale that this new York and Washington offer was important need. Pool of existing talent that the breadth and depth of that pool. And also you know there's there's there's no place like New York is no place like Washington when your when your. Trying to convince people. Come join you at Amazon. That's that's a real attraction. So it didn't feel like you could get this scale and these other cities when it comes to new York and Arlington when it turned out they were gonna split this between the two. Did any of the tax incentives that they originally offered come off the table. Well they were cut now. I mean that's that's how it works these are performance basis and senate widely available to any company that was pursuing this kind of investment. Nothing you know do a perfectly special about it for Amazon. And you know when we said you know parks are our floors going to be 45000 that a 50000. You do the incentive packages were reduced accordingly. And and in each case this is an you know pants now and I hope we deliver in the future this is we get the incentives only after we deliver on the job creation. And will be reporting that job creation. Every year in order to to after the incentives offered. I'd also point out that. Incentives were not the driving factor for us. It's very common practice cities across the country and across North America participated in this and you know all who had economic. Development offices in and put together. If proposals that included incentives but incentives weren't the most important if you if you look at some of the the proposals that cities have released publicly. You'll see that yes some places were offering to make significantly higher incentives. But we really focused on our talent needs and and the desirability of moving folks in new York and Washington. I think if we couldn't find them workable locally and that's why we citizens places. Amazon also Jay got its hands on a lot of very valuable data throughout this process. What the company planned to do with that information would be used in the future to target customers. This is a perplexing question because we're talking about publicly available information about city's economic growth. There education systems the transportation systems and the like this is not. In this is it. Is it just information says the kind of stuff that any company. Doing any kind of significant investment in any city would gather and find from publicly available sources so I. I think you know any company wanted to find out the information the kind of information that we found out could find it. We use about a hundred different metrics when we are looking at different criteria including housing transportation education. You know and and which we we look at surveys that are publicly available to various firms have done about. The desirability of locations where it young people coming out of college want to live that kind of thing all these all these bits of information went into. The decision we made but there's nothing you this is not. Valuable beyond what you can find publicly. But is there anything that you will use from this re search. To acquire new customers to target consumers with specific advertising now that you have this information I die. A again this is not this was information about like what is schools look like. What is the transportation grid look like what are the capacities you know what kind of investments will need to be made in order to common eight point 5000 additional employees you know how big is the airport what's the growth. Potential there what's the average education level how much. You know it may be you know universities having this season had a lot of universities but aren't heavily attacked vs cities that have you know compete universities with computer science departments. Or engineering school you know that that's the candidate we're talking about yourself I don't think it's really applicable this. To a business is it really was all about deciding muted at best location for to find employees and to attract employees. And finally. DC. Was it really necessary to hold this sweepstakes across the country. Well absolutely we began. With a completely open mind I promise you that I was in meetings with or CEO and founder Jeff. They is us consistently over the course of the year. And you know we deliberated a lot about different options and you know wasn't until recently we settled on the idea of splitting headquarters in that we came to the conclusion that the Washington area Arlington Virginia and in New York City where there are. Where our best options but there were a lot of great proposals we we you know we saw. Huge potential a lot of locations across the country especially in the twining. Locations that may a finalist list and in fact even during this process we've announced 6000 jobs. In cities they were part of the top morning but didn't make the final two itself that kind of growth is gonna continue I think it we've seen some feedback from places like Miami. Toronto and elsewhere where. And just being part of this process has. Elevated their visibility of those cities for the stability of potential places protect company investment. And that's been a plus for them and I think they've also seen how they can work together with all their stake what was in their cities to make. Those locations even more attractive for investments I think. I think there's a lot outside in this process also because we can we planned this out in the data publicly. Yeah we are now making these investments in new York and Virginia. In a way that we you know we can work with those communities. Knowing that we're going to create at least 45000 jobs in implication. And and and we in the communities can help address some of the effects of that growth. In the way this most beneficial to a community you know a lot of companies including Amazon here in Seattle you know they start small and they grow organically nobody would have predicted that Amazon. Would have 46000 employees in Seattle and they've launched in Jeffs arrives. Twenty some years ago. Now we know what we're going to be doing in new York and Washington and we can. Healthy communities plan accordingly and build out accordingly with transportation and education life. Amazon's Jay Carney thanks so much for joining us today today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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