The former longtime CEO of Zappos has died at the age of 46, the Associated Press reports.
Often described as a “visionary” by those he worked with, Tony Hsieh was said to have been surrounded by family when he died Friday from injuries sustained during a house fire in Connecticut on Nov. 18.
An untimely death
According to the AP, Hsieh first became involved with Zappos.com, an online shoe retailer formerly known as ShoeSite.com, in 1999. The Harvard graduate served as CEO of the company for 20 years before retiring in 2019, the AP reported.
During his two decades with Zappos, Hsieh relocated the company to Las Vegas. He sold the company to Amazon in 2009 for around $1.2 billion, according to the AP.
Hsieh also founded DTP Companies, a group dedicated to revitalizing downtown Las Vegas.
According to Las Vegas CBS affiliate 8 News Now, the company put out a statement Saturday in conjunction with Hsieh’s family confirming the 46-year-old’s death.
“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world. Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life,” the statement read in part.
A spokesperson for the company later confirmed to 8 News Now that Hsieh “passed from injuries sustained in a house fire that occurred on 11/18 in New London.”
“A tremendous visionary”
Zappos also put out a statement memorializing the businessman, 8 News Now reported. “The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” the company said. It added:
We recognize that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend. Tony played such an integral part in helping create the thriving Zappos business we have today, along with his passion for helping to support and drive our company culture.
Others to pay tribute included skateboarder Tony Hawk and businessman Max Levchin, who called Hsieh “a truly original thinker, a brilliant entrepreneur, and a kind-hearted and generous friend to so many,” Fox Business reported.
Even the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, chimed in.
Celebrating the life while mourning the loss of my dear friend Tony Hsieh. Tony was a deeply original thinker always challenging me to reject conformity & follow my heart. Tony was driven by the mission of delivering happiness & brought joy to all who knew him. Rest In Peace Tony pic.twitter.com/Nd5o6U7wV9
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) November 28, 2020