Tony Hsieh, the 46-year outdated expertise entrepreneur and enterprise capitalist who constructed Zappos right into a $1 billion web sneakers and clothes powerhouse, died on Friday. He was 46.
The trigger was accidents suffered in a home fireplace on Nov. 18 in New London, Conn., in accordance with Megan Fazio, a spokeswoman for The Downtown Challenge in Las Vegas, a revitalization effort which Mr. Hsieh oversaw.
Mr. Hsieh (pronounced shay) was apparently visiting household on the time. His dying was confirmed by Zappos in a press release from the corporate’s chief govt, Kedar Deshpande. Additional particulars weren’t instantly obtainable.
Mr. Hsieh stepped down as chief govt in August after 21 years with the corporate, which started promoting sneakers on-line in 1999.
Having bought his first firm, LinkExchange, a web based promoting community, to Microsoft in 1998 for $265 million, Mr. Hsieh turned a enterprise capitalist and invested in a San Francisco-based retail shoe start-up, then known as ShoeSite.com. He shortly took over as C.E.O. and centered his efforts on constructing the corporate into an web large. (The identify was modified to Zappos.com, an adaptation of “zapatos,” the Spanish phrase for sneakers, in accordance with the corporate web site.).
Within the nascent interval of web commerce, Mr. Hsieh was a visionary who realized that getting clients to really feel snug and safe shopping for on-line was the important thing to success and progress.
To do this, workers within the name middle needed to have interaction clients as if chatting with an outdated pal, with authentic-sounding welcoming banter.
Mr. Hsieh stunned the Silicon Valley world by shifting the corporate from San Francisco to a suburb of Las Vegas, the place he constructed a tradition of “enjoyable and a little bit weirdness” that resulted in skyrocketing progress.
From $1.6 million in gross sales in 2000, Zappos surpassed $1 billion in revenues by 2009. In July 2009, Mr. Hsieh bought the corporate for $1.2 billion to Amazon.
Mr. Hsieh, a soft-spoken and introspective govt, developed a philosophy of enterprise constructed round the concept that completely satisfied workers had been the conduit to happy clients who would return repeatedly.
An avid reader, he wrote a best-selling e book, “Delivering Happiness,” in 2010, describing his customer support philosophy.
Throughout his tenure at Zappos, Mr. Hsieh launched the Downtown Challenge, aimed toward revitalizing the once-neglected downtown part of Las Vegas and turning it right into a vibrant space the place Zappos workers would stay. The hassle grew past Mr. Hsieh’s unique idea and the world has attracted 1000’s of expertise employees and entrepreneurs.
“Tony Hsieh performed a pivotal function in serving to remodel Downtown Las Vegas,” Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada wrote on Twitter.
Christina Morales contributed reporting.
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