May 16, 2012
BOSTON — It's a persistent thorn in the Bay State tech community's side: Mark Zuckerberg moved away. With Friday's Facebook IPO in the headlines, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo put together his own sales pitch Wednesday — to get Zuckerberg to move back. He published his plea in an open letter on the Menlo Park, Calif., Patch website on May 16.
"To see a gentleman such as Mark Zuckerberg who started here in Massachusetts and is now in California, you know, it bothers me. It bothers me in the sense that he should be here," DeLeo said at the State House later that day.
The letter claims that the state has become a far more welcoming place for innovative companies in the 8 years since Zuckerberg left and touts an economic development bill the House unveiled on May 14.
Massachusetts, DeLeo said, has it all over the Golden State — at least in terms of stability. "Do I want to go to a state that has a $16 billion deficit that is going to have to lay off all kinds of people and cut services, or do I want to go to a state that's been hailed as one of the best-run states fiscally?" he asked (rhetorically).
That said, he acknowledged that the move would be good for the Commonwealth as well. "Having Facebook here is, again, another part of economic growth," DeLeo said. "We want to see all parts of our economy grow, and that would just be another example of people coming here to Massachusetts because see they see Massachusetts as a great place to live and to work."
In November 2011, speaking at Harvard for the first time since he left, Zuckerberg said he had no plans to open a Boston office in the foreseeable future. And flouting predictions, he did not join a Facebook team that recently visited Cambridge to pitch the IPO to prospective investors.
Nonetheless, DeLeo was optimistic: "I think we can convince him that Massachusetts is the place to be."
> > READ: DeLeo's letter to Zuckerberg