Tony Hsieh (謝家華), the retired chief executive of Zappos.com who revolutionized the online shoe industry and gained notoriety for his company's unique corporate culture, has died.
A November 18 house fire in which Hsieh is believed to have been injured remains under investigation, according to the Hartford Courant, which cited the New London fire chief and reported the home that burned is owned by a long-time Zappos employee. Hsieh was visiting family at the time of the fire.
News of Tony Hsieh's death rumbled social media Saturday morning as investors, journalists, politicians, and tech founders paid tribute to the former Zappos CEO. The rescuers revealed that he suffered from "possible burns and inhalation", and later performed CPR and hospitalized at the Bridgeport Hospital.
Puoy Premsrirut, one of his attorneys, confirmed Hsieh had died "due to complications from injuries sustained in a house fire".
The Day, a local newspaper, noted that the incident took place on 500 Pequot Ave in New London, Connecticut, at 3:34 AM. Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009, but Hsieh had remained with the company until his retirement. "Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life", said a statement from his family that was shared with CNN by Fazio.
For years, Hsieh also worked to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, pledging $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment. "Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony's family and friends during this hard time". Your curiosity, vision, and constant focus on customers leaves an indelible mark. "He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone". "Tony Hsieh touched so many lives and inspired so many entrepreneurs". He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy. After graduating from Harvard and selling his first business, the online advertising firm LinkExchange, to Microsoft when he was just 24 years old, he used the profits to become a venture capitalist for technology startups.
He said he will remember Hsieh as a leader who inspired the people around him to dream.