Retired Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh dies aged 46

Retired Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh dies aged 46 from injuries sustained in fire that broke out at a Connecticut mansion – months after he retired from company he sold to Amazon for $1.2B

  • Hsieh joined  Zappos – then called ShoeSite.com – back in 1999, when it was a small online shoe store
  • He transformed the company into an internet giant, which was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion
  • Hsieh only stepped down as CEO of Zappos earlier this year; he had an estimated fortune of $840 million
  • The businessman was known for his philanthropy and for fostering a positive workplace culture
  • Despite his immense wealth, he was famous for living in a humble Airstream trailer in downtown Las Vegas 
  • Andrew Yang, Tony Hawk and Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak are among the names who have paid tribute to Hsieh  

Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, has died at the age of 46. 

The businessman – who amassed a fortune of $840 million – died Friday following injuries he sustained in a house fire in Connecticut, where he was visiting friends.  

The blaze broke out inside a waterfront mansion in the town of  New London in the early hours of November 18, according to GeekWire. 

Neither Hsieh’s lawyer or public relations manager have provided further details on the fire, and an official cause of death has not been announced. 

Hsieh, who was born in Illinois and was the son of Taiwanese immigrants, studied at Harvard University before he joined Zappos – then called ShoeSite.com – in 1999. 

As CEO, he helped transform the fledgling internet start-up into a billion-dollar business. Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009, but Hsieh remained with the company until his retirement earlier this year. 

While Hsieh became known for his business acumen, it was his philanthropy and his focus on fostering a positive workplace culture for which he is now being remembered.  

Tony Hsieh, the high-profile former CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, died Friday at the age of 46 from injuries he sustained in a house fire in Connecticut

Hsieh is pictured with former President Bill Clinton back in 2014  

For years, Hsieh worked to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, pledging $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment. The same year he moved Zappos’ headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building.

‘Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,’ Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night.

‘Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony´s family and friends during this difficult time.’

A wave of other tributes have also poured out on social media. 

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang posted Saturday morning: ‘I am stunned. Tony Hsieh touched so many lives and inspired so many entrepreneurs. His impact and legacy will go on and on. I met his family in Las Vegas – and am thinking of them today. RIP Tony. You will be missed.’ 

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and skateboarder Tony Hawk are among the big names paying tribute to the businessman 

Skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk added, ‘Tony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone.’

‘A truly original thinker, a brilliant entrepreneur, and a kind-hearted and generous friend to so many,’ tweeted entrepreneur Max Levchin.

Back in 2010, Hsieh published the best-seller book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, in which he asserted that happy employees made for a more successful business.  

One quote from the book read: ‘Money alone isn’t enough to bring happiness . . . happiness is when you’re actually truly okay with losing everything you have.’

Hsieh is pictured with Barbara Walters back in 2010. He became well-known for his views on fostering a positive workplace culture, and penned a book about how happy employees are better for business 

Hsieh is pictured in Las Vegas with Britney Spears in 2015, during her residency in Las Vegas. Hsieh was a prominent resident of the city, and helped to revitalize its downtown area 

Despite his immense wealth, Hsieh was known for living in an Airstream trailer in downtown Las Vegas.  

Back in 2014, he transformed a parking lot in the city into a ‘micro-living oasis’, made up of around 30 trailers. He also had two pet llamas which lived in the trailer park community with him. 

As of 2020, he was still living in the tiny trailer. 

Hsieh was not married and had no children.  

Despite his immense wealth, Hsieh was known for living in an Airstream trailer in downtown Las Vegas

Inside the tiny trailer Hsieh lived in, despite his $840 million fortune 

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