Amazon Exec Rips `Leaking' to Bezos' Post on Headquarters

(Bloomberg) -- An economic development director at Amazon.com Inc. isn’t happy about a Washington Post report that the e-commerce giant is in advanced talks with a Washington suburb about being the location for its second headquarters.

In a tweet Saturday morning, Amazon’s Mike Grella addressed “the genius leaking info,” saying: “You’re not doing Crystal City, VA any favors. And stop treating the NDA you signed like a used napkin.” Grella didn’t say who he thought leaked the information, nor did he address the story itself.

In earlier tweets, Grella criticized another story in the Post -- owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos -- for speculating about the possible second headquarters location based on flight patterns of Bezos’ jet.

“The search team has earned his trust and the highest use of his time isn’t looking at vacant buildings and land -- he has a company to run,” Grella wrote.

If a company’s location intent was judged by where its CEO flies, Grella said in a follow-up tweet, Amazon might also go to Davos, Switzerland; Sun Valley, Idaho; Rome or Hollywood, and Google, Facebook and Tesla might be relocating to “Black Rock Desert, NV," a reference to the annual Burning Man cultural festival.

Grella doesn’t have direct knowledge of the headquarters search and negotiations, according to a person familiar with the process.

Bud Perrone, a spokesman for JBG Smith, Crystal City’s top developer, declined to comment.

Small Handful

Amazon in 2017 announced plans to invest $5 billion and hire 50,000 people over the next 18 years. A decision is scheduled by the end of the year, with 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada in the running.

The company is in late-stage talks with a “small handful” of locations in addition to Crystal City, among them New York and Dallas, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

The search has prompted months of speculation about the most likely winner. Many experts have named the Washington area as a front-runner given Bezos’ ownership of the Post and the company’s stepped-up lobbying efforts.

Crystal City is a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, that features a concentration of high rise offices, hotels and residential buildings.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.