The not-for-profit Next City had a lengthy interview with Audible’s CEO Don Katz about his ties to Newark N.J. where the company’s headquarters is located. Katz—who lives in Montclair– told Next City that being in Newark “added another dimension to an entrepreneurial internal culture. We have started to make our Newark-ness a part of the business.” Audible was acquired by Amazon in 2008.
He said Audible has made itself part of the community, politically by trying to be part of educational reform and helping families who are trying to get their kids through “rigorous charter schools.” The company has used paid interns from North Star Academy and from other schools. The company also has an Audible Scholars program that follows talented individuals through college.
Katz told interviewer Isaac Riddle that he’d like to see other startups come in to Newark and thrive in the city. “I really want to try to help more tech companies moving in, because tech companies grow jobs. We are clearly a growing company. We came here with 125 people. We are going to have 600 here by the end of the year.”
Asked about employees moving into Newark, Katz admitted that the numbers of employees doing that are very limited. “It is partly that Newark has yet to develop that cluster of living environments and places to shop, eat and drink that is really required for urban rebirth.”