LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Former Zappos CEO and downtown Las Vegas investor Tony Hsieh, 46, has passed away.
According to a statement from DTP Companies, which Hsieh founded, he died peacefully Friday surrounded by family members.
"With a heavy and devastated heart, we regret to inform you that Tony Hsieh passed away peacefully on November 27, 2020 surrounded by his beloved family."
It is with very heavy hearts that we are sharing some very sad news, as we have learned that Tony passed away earlier today (11-27-20). The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. We recognize that...https://t.co/RUMNOFrItZ pic.twitter.com/NSAFGW8p4L— Zappos.com (@Zappos) November 28, 2020
According to multiple media outlets, Hsieh died as a result of injuries suffered during a Nov. 18 house fire in New London, Connecticut. He was reportedly visiting Connecticut with his brother.
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Another statement received Friday night read:
"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.
On behalf of all DTP Companies employees and staff, we would like to express our deepest condolences to Tony’s family and friends who have all lost Tony as a cherished loved one, visionary and friend. Tony was highly regarded by all of his fellow friends and colleagues in the tight-knit family at DTP Companies, so this heartbreaking tragedy is one that affects many involved.
We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy during this most difficult and challenging time."
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Hsieh, who graduated from Harvard, brought the online shoe retailer Zappos to Las Vegas from California in 2004.
He became involved in the company in 1999 as an investor. At the time, it was known as ShoeSite.com.
Hsieh was known for his unique leadership style, believing in customer service above all else and essentially allowing the employees to run the company.
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His leadership led to huge growth for the company and he sold it to Amazon for around $1.2 billion in 2009. He retained his role as the CEO though until he abruptly retired earlier this year without explanation.
Additionally, Hsieh invested hundreds of millions of dollars in downtown Las Vegas after the company’s headquarters moved into the former city hall.
He bought multiple apartment buildings, houses, old hotels and casinos, small businesses and empty lots in downtown Las Vegas. Many of his investments such as the Downtown Container Park led to positive change for the downtown area.
After he stepped down from Zappos, he moved to Park City, Utah, and began buying multiple houses, including a 17,000-square-foot mansion with a sports court, horseback riding complex and private lake.
Hsieh was also the author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, which contains the different lessons Hsieh learned in business and life and described many of his unusual (at the time of writing) business practices such as paying brand-new employees $2,000 to quit, making company culture the number one priority, and making customer service the responsibility of everyone and not just one department.