Amazon made the surprising announcement this week that it would be backing out of plans to build a second headquarters in Queens amid political backlash, but some staffers at the online retail giant think that Jeff Bezos’ love life could be the real reason for the move.
The company announced this week that it would no longer be building the massive campus it had planned for the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, which was expected to bring in 25,000 jobs in exchange for $3 billion in state and local tax breaks. The plan had come under intense fire from local politicians who saw the tax giveaway as too steep and costly for the city.
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Amazon said in a statement, via the New York Post.
The statement seemed to allude to pressure from activists and left-leaning politicians, the report noted, but some insiders at the company believe there was an ulterior motive to the abrupt cancellation. In the weeks since the second headquarters was announced, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become a fixture of the tabloid news circuit for his relationship with Lauren Sanchez and impending divorce from his wife of 25 years.
The New York Post’s Page Six reported that some sources within the company believe that Bezos became skittish about the attention he would receive in one of the biggest media markets in the world.
“Bezos does not want to be under media scrutiny,” a source told the celebrity gossip outlet. “New York is America’s media capital. Since the [Lauren] Sanchez story broke, he realizes what it would be like to be in the city a couple of days a week.”
Sanchez has already been spotted in New York, the report added, but didn’t seem bothered and in fact seemed to welcome the attention she was receiving. Bezos too has not exactly shied away from the spotlight, being spotted a number of times out with Sanchez.
There are some doubts as to whether Jeff Bezos would make such a rash decision for the company based on his current love life. Another source in the company told Page Six that Bezos is used to scrutiny and that the decision to scrap the headquarters in Queens was strictly a business decision — one that involved the entire leadership team at the company.