Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Microsoft President Is "Very Bullish" about Growth Potential in Vancouver

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Microsoft President Is "Very Bullish" about Growth Potential in Vancouver

Article excerpt

Microsoft sees growth potential in Vancouver

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SEATTLE - Microsoft is "very bullish" on Vancouver and is lobbying the federal and provincial governments to make increased investments in what it sees as a city with a bright future as a technology hub, the company's president said Tuesday.

"We have made clear that we think of Vancouver as a second home," Microsoft president Brad Smith said in an interview at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle.

"We're growing and I would hope that we'd have continuing opportunities to grow in Vancouver."

The Washington-based technology company anticipates growing beyond the 750 jobs it initially expected to create in Vancouver when it opened its Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre in June 2016, he said.

The centre, now known as Microsoft Canada, currently employs 800 workers across product development, sales and marketing, and retail and office work, said a spokesman.

Smith said he sees continuing opportunities to grow in the city and doesn't see a cap to the number of jobs the company could create there.

He stopped short of saying the company could open a second headquarters in the city, but said "it makes sense" for Vancouver to set it sights on wooing Seattle-based tech giant Amazon.com Inc. to open its proposed second headquarters there.

The ecommerce giant announced this month that it is seeking to build a second headquarters in North America. Expected to be equal to its Seattle campus, the new headquarters would likely require a US$5 billion investment in construction and up to 50,000 jobs, the company said.

Smith said only Amazon knows what location will work for its company, but stressed that Vancouver "is a great home for technology and technology companies. …

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