Amazon Isn’t Looking for a Second Headquarters. Or a Third.

Amazon HQ in London, one of many headquarters buildings Amazon already has.Amazon

Here’s the latest on Amazon’s Great Headquarters Search:

After conducting a yearlong search for a second home, Amazon has switched gears and is now finalizing plans to have a total of 50,000 employees in two locations, according to people familiar with the decision-making process.

The company is nearing a deal to move to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, according to two of the people briefed on the discussions. Amazon is also close to a deal to move to the Crystal City area of Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb, one of the people said. Amazon already has more employees in those two areas than anywhere else outside of Seattle, its home base, and the Bay Area.

I wonder how many people understand that Amazon is just playing everyone here? They aren’t going to have two headquarters. They aren’t going to have three headquarters. And there are plenty of places where they can hire enough tech workers to fill out a 50,000-person office without having to split in two.

What they’re most likely to do, eventually, is simply have different parts of the business run from different places. Maybe retail will be run from Seattle, AWS will be run from Arlington, and Whole Foods will be run from Long Island City. Or something. There’s nothing unusual about this, and it doesn’t mean that Amazon has “three headquarters,” even if they make sure that all three campuses have a nice big corner office reserved for Jeff Bezos at all times.

So let’s cut the crap. Amazon is expanding, full stop. Eventually they’ll probably reorganize and start shuffling people around. That’s about it except for the vast amount of PR they’ve gotten from all this.