HomeChinese AmericanFormer Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh dies at 46

Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh dies at 46

Photo by JD Lasica from Wikimedia Creative Commons

Visionary, entrepreneur and best selling author Tony Hsieh died from injuries from a house fire, DTP Companies announced Friday night.

The 46 year old just retired in August as CEO of Zappos, an innovative online shoe company for which Hsieh was the driving force. He had been visiting family in Connecticut when a house fire broke out.

He died peacefully Friday surrounded by family, according to CNN Business.

Zappos gained fame in 2010 after releasing his best selling book, Delivering Happiness, which outlined his entrepreneurial spirit and philosophy.

He drew controversy when he eliminated the traditional role of managers in late 2013 to empower his employees to have a more direct role in decision making.

He would move his company to a new Downtown Las Vegas campus which he laid out in a way to increase interaction by employees and to encourage walking, according to NPR.

It became known as the Downtown Project which city leaders recognized as a major effort to revitalize the downtown area.

“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.”

Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world,” said Megan Fazio of DTP Companies which oversaw the Downtown Project. “Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.

Yahoo Finance reports Hsieh sold his first company,  LinkExchange, to Microsoft in 1998. He sold Zappos to Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. He would continue to run the company until this year.

“Tony Hsieh might be the most original thinker I’ve ever been friends with,” former venture investor Chris Sacca tweeted, according to the Huff Post. “He questioned every assumption and shared everything he learned along the way. He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy.”

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