Tony Hsieh, Tycoon and Online Commerce Guru, Dies at 46 in House Fire

The former CEO of Zappos.com retired last summer after selling his company to Amazon for nearly $2 billion.
Tony Hsieh, Tycoon and Online Commerce Guru, Dies at 46 in House Fire
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Entrepreneur Staff
3 min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The businessman Tony Hsieh, former CEO of the clothing and shoe store Zappos.com, died of a domestic fire last Friday, as confirmed on the official website of the company he created.

The accident, where the 46-year-old billionaire lost his life, occurred on November 27 in Connecticut, USA. No further details have been given about the cause of his death or the circumstances of the fire. For now it is only known that Hsieh was visiting his family.

 

 

The late businessman sold Zappos.com in 2009 to Amazon for $ 1.9 billion. However, he remained as CEO until last August, when he decided to retire. After 21 years running the company, Tony left everything to live in a mobile home in La Vegas .

Kedar Deshpande, current CEO of Zappos, lamented the loss through a statement posted on his website and social media.

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. We recognize that we have not only lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and friend, ”the statement said. "Tony's kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, as his mantra was 'transmit happiness' to others."

 

 

The son of Taiwanese migrants and educated at Harvard, Tony Hsieh founded the digital advertising company LinkExchange in his youth. In 1998 he sold it to Microsoft for about $ 265 million.

The following year, Hsieh invested in what would later become Zappos, a pioneer in online sales. In 2009, Amazon bought the company for more than a billion dollars, but kept its creator at the helm.

The businessman was one of the main investors of DTP Companies, a company in charge of restoring downtown Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, notes that Tony injected a fortune into the project to finance restaurants, start-ups and other businesses.

The author was also a point of reference in the world of online business, as he managed to get people to buy shoes online when it was not common and few had succeeded.

Hsieh was known for his peculiar way of running the company, since for years he opted for a structure without hierarchies and for eliminating all management positions. He left his philosophy embodied in the book 'Delivering Happiness', where he exposes the importance of taking care of the customer and the employee alike.

Rest in peace.

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