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News that Amazon is shifting its worldwide operations team out of Seattle to nearby Bellevue, Wash., quickly ignited a debate in the region about the tech giant’s incredible growth and what the future holds.

Is Amazon over Seattle? Why this team specifically? What does it mean for the future of Bellevue and the region overall? We address those questions and more on this episode of the GeekWire podcast.

In a statement this week, Amazon said the relocation has to do with Bellevue’s “business-friendly environment.” Contrast that with Amazon’s previous comments about the Seattle City Council’s “hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses” and it’s not hard to interpret the move as a symbolic gesture.

But it is important to note that Amazon isn’t necessarily scaling back in Seattle. The company still has about 10,000 job openings in the city and doesn’t plan to change that.

Still, worldwide operations is a critical team at Amazon, the arm responsible for managing the company’s robust delivery infrastructure and getting packages to customers’ doors. It’s also a team innovating in some of the most promising technologies of the future, like automation and artificial intelligence.

In addition to Amazon’s big move, we also discuss a lawsuit filed against Howard Schultz over unsolicited text messages to voters as he considers a formal presidential bid.

And we preview the GeekWire Awards, now that the finalists have been revealed and public voting is underway leading up to the big event May 2 in Seattle.

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