BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo has a message for former Harvard undergrad and billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: Come home.
DeLeo told reporters Wednesday that he has a vision of Facebook moving its headquarters to Massachusetts, where the social media website was founded in Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room. He said having Facebook headquartered in the state would boost the local economy and technology industry.
"To see a gentleman such as Mark Zuckerberg, who started here in Massachusetts and is now in California, it bothers me," DeLeo said. "He should be here in Massachusetts."
The Winthrop Democrat said a lot has changed since Zuckerberg left Massachusetts for Silicon Valley in 2004, taking jabs at California's multibillion-dollar deficit while the Bay State has continued to pass balanced budgets. He said he believes Massachusetts is "the place to be right now" to start or grow a company.
He pointed to a jobs bill he's pushing that he says will strengthen the state's innovation economy.
In an open letter published Wednesday on the Menlo Park Patch website, DeLeo touted the virtues of setting up shop in Massachusetts.
The speaker said he hasn't yet spoken to anyone at Facebook or heard a response to his letter, but he hopes Zuckerberg will consider his proposition.
While Facebook is the only specific company in the speaker's crosshairs, DeLeo said he will likely reach out to other companies this summer when the state hosts a technology convention.
"I want to see them come to Massachusetts because I think that this is a better place to do business in," he said.
DeLeo's letter comes as Facebook prepares to sell stock as part of an initial public offering that could be worth more than $100 billion.