Tony Hsieh dies at 46!
Tony Hsieh is an
internet entrepreneur who is known as the guy who initially led Zappos and then
sold it to Amazon for $1.2 billion. Unfortunately, we’ve just heard that he
passed away at the young age of 46 due to injuries from a house fire that
occurred 10 days ago on the 18th of November in New London, Conn. On
Friday, the homepage of Zappos’s website displayed his image along with a
letter written by CEO, Kedar Deshpande.
He shared the news with
a heavy heart on his Twitter account as well. He told users that even though
Hsieh retired earlier this summer, his memory and wisdom shall carry on
forever. His tremendous impact is undeniable, as he dedicated the last 20 years
of his life to take this company forward and empower the employees. He ended the tweet commenting that Hsieh was
a visionary and he will be greatly missed.
Hsieh was leading this
company since 1999. Even though he struggled immensely in the first few years,
the company suddenly took off and grew into an online show business that gave
tough competition to Amazon until Hsieh decided to sell it to Amazon in 2009.
Zappos is known for its interesting culture, as the company focuses on
spreading happiness and it’s a unique combination of corporate structure and
Hsieh left the position
as the CEO of the company in August 2020. Amazon, in reality, had tried to
acquire rights of Zappos back in 2005 and Hsieh himself talked about this in an
article in 2010. But sincere negotiations only began in 2009, when they both
agreed to an acquisition that allowed Zappos to continue operations separately.
This acquisition still stands as Amazon’s largest, and if there’s an
acquisition that surpassed this one, it has to be the one with Whole Food and
Hsieh spoke about the
changes in a 2014 interview and said that basically they only changed the
previous board of directors, and in return, they got access to free technology
from Amazon. But do you know that before the negotiations with Amazon started,
Hsieh had co-founded and sold an advertising startup to Microsoft for $265
million, and it was called LinkExchange?
Apart from this, Hsieh
has published a book titled Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion
and Purpose. It was published in 2013 and it became a New York Times
bestseller. The book was extremely educational as it provided lessons that
Hsieh learnt from his life and entrepreneurial journey. In this book, he said
that he believed in the promotion of employee happiness as that maintains and
eventually helps in growing the corporate structure.
In 2009, Hsieh started
an initiative called the Las Vegas Downtown Project which took $350 million to
transform the system for entrepreneurs and innovators in downtown Las Vegas.
One of the spokesmen of
that project claims that Hsieh was generous and kind, and he positively impacted the lives of people around him because of those traits. He believed in
celebrating life and delivering happiness to people.
Here’s the full letter
from Deshpande on the website:
is with very heavy hearts that we are sharing some very sad news with all of
you, as we have learned that Tony passed away earlier today (11-27-20). Though
Tony retired this past summer, we know what a tremendous impact he has had on
both Zappos and on Zapponians, as he has dedicated the past 20 years focusing
on the success of both the company and our employees.
world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. 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.
kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, as his mantra
was of “Delivering Happiness” to others. His spirit will forever be a part of
Zappos, and we will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to
continuing the work he was so passionate about.
will be working on ways to celebrate Tony’s extraordinary life in the coming
days. In the meantime, we invite you to share your memories of the ways he
brightened your life – you can send them to [email protected] and we
will share them with his family.
thoughts remain with him and his loved ones. Zappos is a family, and we will
continue to hold Tony close in our hearts.”
Here’s how people reacted to the sudden demise of Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh: