Tony Hsieh, a 46-year-old technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist who built Zappos in the $ 1 billion online shoe and clothing industry, died Friday. He was 46 years old.
The reason on November 18, the frog. There were injuries in a home fire in New London, according to Megan Fazio, a spokeswoman for The Downtown Project in Las Vegas, a resuscitation effort overseen by Mr. Hsieh.
Mr. Hsieh (pronounced: shay) apparently visited the family then. Zappos confirmed his death in a statement from the company’s CEO, Kedar Deshpande. Further details were not immediately available.
Mr. Hsieh resigned as CEO in August after working for the company for 21 years, which began selling shoes online in 1999.
After selling his first company, the online advertising network LinkExchange, to Microsoft for $ 265 million in 1998, Mr. Hsieh became a venture capitalist and invested in a San Francisco-based retail shoe business. He quickly took over as CEO and focused his efforts on turning the company into an Internet giant.
In the early days of internet commerce, Mr. Hsieh was a visionary who realized that the key to success and growth was to make customers feel comfortable and safe when shopping online.
To do this, the call center staff had to attract customers as if they were talking to an old friend with an authentic, welcoming mockery.
Mr. Hsieh surprised the world of Silicon Valley by moving the company from San Francisco to a suburb of Las Vegas, where he built a culture of “fun and a little weirdness” that resulted in skyrocketing growth.
Compared to $ 1.6 million in 2000, Zappos had more than $ 1 billion in revenue in 2009. In July 2009, Mr. Hsieh sold the company to Amazon.
Mr. Hsieh, a gentle-speaking and insightful executive, developed a business philosophy based on the idea that happy employees convey satisfied customers who return again and again.
An avid reader, in 2010 he wrote a best-selling book, “Delivering Happiness,” in which he outlined his customer service philosophy.
During his tenure in Zappos, Mr. Hsieh launched the Downtown Project, which aims to revitalize the once neglected downtown part of Las Vegas and transform it into a vibrant area where Zappos employees live. The effort went beyond Mr. Hsieh’s original concept, and the area attracted thousands of technology workers and entrepreneurs.
“Tony Hsieh has played a key role in transforming downtown Las Vegas,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak wrote on Twitter.
Christina Morales contributed to the report.
A complete obituary follows.