Tony Hsieh dead – Tech giant who sold Zappos shoe empire for $1.2bn dies, aged 46, after being injured in house fire

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TECH boss Tony Hsieh who sold the Zappos online shoe empire for $1.2billion has died aged 46 after being injured in a house fire.

Tributes have been paid to the retired CEO who was known as a visionary as he spent years working to transform rundown parts of Las Vegas.

AP:Associated Press

Tony Hsieh has died after being injured in a house fire[/caption]

He was remembered as an “original thinker” who “delighted in making anyone and everyone happy”.

Hsieh died from injuries sustained in a house fire that occurred in Connecticut while he was visiting family, his firm Downtown Partnership Las Vegas (DTP) confirmed, reports CNN.

No further details have been released about his death.

Hsieh had recently retried from Zappos after spending 20 years leading the online shoe and clothing firm.

He sold the company Jeff Bezos’ ecommerce giant Amazon for $1.2billion in 2009 but continued to work for Zappos.

The entrepreneur had been working to revitalize downtown Vegas as he pledged some £350million for re-development in 2013.

The same year he moved the Zappos headquarters into the building which was formally used as Las Vegas City Hall.

Hsieh graduated from Harvard University and joined the company — then called ShoeSite.com — in 1999.

He also co-founded internet advertising network LinkExchange, which he sold to Microsoft in 1998 for $265million.

AP:Associated Press

Tony Hsieh with Bill Gates, Marie J. Toulantis,  Rob Norman, Matt Ackley, Patrick Byrne and Jim Barr[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Tony Hsieh speaks to Bill Clinton during a gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative America in Denver[/caption]

In a statement, DTP said: “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.”

Hsieh’s development company boasts it has has helped create 165 new businesses and more than 1,000 new jobs in Vegas .

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak tweeted: “Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas.

“Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk said: “Tony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone.”

Getty Images – Getty

Tony Hsieh was remembered as an ‘original thinker’ who ‘delighted in making anyone and everyone happy’[/caption]

Former venture investor Chris Sacca added: “Tony Hsieh might be the most original thinker I’ve ever been friends with.

“He questioned every assumption and shared everything he learned along the way.

“He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy.”

Paypal entrepreneur Max Levchin tweeted: “A truly original thinker, a brilliant entrepreneur, and a kind-hearted and generous friend to so many.”


In a statement, Zappos said: “The 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.

“Tony’s 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.”

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