- Teasing a continent waiting with bated breath for the HQ2 announcement, Amazon announced the expansion of three technology hubs in North America on Monday. The Vancouver Tech Hub will add 3,000 jobs focused on e-commerce, cloud computing and machine learning and expand into a new redevelopment location in 2022, according to an Amazon Canada announcement.
- The company also announced the addition 2,000 jobs to its Boston Tech Hub, doubling the workforce focused on machine learning, cloud computing, robotics and speech science for AWS, Alexa and Audible. The company will also expand its physical offices with a 7.6 million square feet development project set to open in 2021.
- Amazon will double its footprint in Minneapolis, adding 200 engineers and IT workers to its tech hub — and taking more steps on the home turf of Target and Best Buy, reports StarTribune. The Twin Cities hub is focused on transportation tech and delivery services, and Amazon will hire relevant specialists as well as cloud computing engineers for AWS.
Amazon has tech hubs scattered across the country, including Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Pittsburgh and Portland. The addition of 5,000 technology jobs and two new office spaces mean millions in investments across Boston, Vancouver and Minneapolis. But for Boston — the only HQ2 finalist among the three cities — the announcement arrives with additional scrutiny.
The expansion of the Boston office in the Seaport neighborhood confirms January reports of Amazon scoping out sites for a new office space in the area, but Amazon clarified that expansion in a HQ2 finalist city is distinct from HQ2 plans. Nevertheless, a significant move in the city now may push some HQ2 bets away from Boston and toward other finalist cities.
In terms of technology, Amazon is doubling down on some of its most profitable segments. AWS saw a 49% growth in cloud revenue year-over-year in Q1, and the company's machine learning services saw a 250% increase in active users over the last year. And Alexa is still the most popular voice assistant — though perhaps not the smartest.