WBUR

DeLeo To Facebook: ‘A Renewed Presence In Mass. Makes Sense’

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at MIT in November 2011 (WBUR File)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at MIT in November 2011 (WBUR File)

BOSTON — Ahead of the social media behemoth’s IPO, House Speaker Robert DeLeo has penned an open letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, telling the former Harvard University student that “a renewed presence in Massachusetts makes sense.”

In the letter — published first by Patch in Menlo Park, Calif., where Facebook’s headquarters are located, and then by CommonWealth Magazine — DeLeo says he “wanted to take this opportunity to update you on what you have missed in Massachusetts since you left in 2004.”

The speaker then lists how “Massachusetts has become a more desirable home to innovation companies and their workers,” including legislation introduced in the House Monday aimed at spurring the state’s innovation economy and development along the South Boston Waterfront — the so-called “Innovation District.” DeLeo adds:

I believe that as Facebook issues its initial public offering and experiences additional growth and expansion, a renewed presence in Massachusetts makes sense. I am available to meet with you and members of your team to update you on why Massachusetts is an important place to open an office.

As WBUR’s Curt Nickisch reported, in November 2011 Zuckerberg gave Boston a surprise shout-out, telling a crowd at Stanford University that “[Silicon Valley is] not the only place to be. Honestly, if I were starting now, I would have just stayed in Boston.”

Days later, on a recruiting trip in Cambridge, Zuckerberg told Curt that Boston’s tech sector has grown since he started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room:

A lot of those folks, if they could find the financing and the engineering talent out here, which I think exists, then I think a lot of people would be willing to stay for a while.

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