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Former Zappos CEO Dies
News Bytes 12/1/2020 33 Comments

Tony Hsieh, the retired CEO of an online shoe mega-retailer, passed away over the weekend. He was 46.

WORLDteen featured Hsieh in its September/October issue. (See “Think Outside the [Shoe] Box.”) To many, Hsieh was a visionary. He believed in happy, hassle-free shoe buying—including buying just one shoe or shoes of different sizes.

Hseih’s family was with him when he passed away on Friday. He died of injuries suffered in a November 18 fire in his New London, Connecticut, home.

Hsieh was a Harvard University graduate who helped found in 1999. The company quickly rebranded as (derived from the Spanish word for shoes, “zapatos”).

Hsieh recently retired from the company he made extremely successful. He led Zappos for 20 years and sold it to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009 but remained with the company until his retirement.

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” a statement from officials at Zappos said. “His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.”

“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world,” a DTP Companies statement said. “Delivering happiness was always his mantra.”

For years, Hsieh also worked to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, pledging $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment. The same year he moved Zappos’ headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building.

“Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night.

Hsieh had a reputation as a generous, kind, happy leader. His character reminds one of Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” and “a joyful heart is good medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)

Indeed, tributes to Hsieh’s good name and happy spirit have poured in on social media. “Your curiosity, vision, and relentless focus on customers leave an indelible mark,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and president, posted on Instagram. “You will be missed by so many.”

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

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

“Tony Hsieh might be the most original thinker I’ve ever been friends with,” former venture investor Chris Sacca tweeted. “He questioned every assumption and shared everything he learned along the way. He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy.”

(Tony Hsieh speaks in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

That's awful

2nd Comment

That is sad that he died. But I am glad that he could start that company and do those things for people.


I thought it was Elon Musk at first glance, and being invested in tesla, that would be unfortunate for the World, but this is bad too. Tragic.

this is Mylee

This is so sad. I hope his family is doing good. I am glad that he started a shoe buisness too .


That's sad, we should pray for his family. I wonder if he was a Christian?

6th comment

@ NA It seems like it, by his character... Sad that he died:(

7th comment

He died so young. I have never heard of him in my life but it seems he made a different in peoples lives.

this is Mylee

:( ...... What is yall's favorite shoe brand ? I love Converse !


I like vans for the looks but adidas for the slides(or flip flops. present day slides, i mean xD) i have had my slides for like a year and 1/2.


Converse are my favorite shoes too!

I had a Fila shoe and the

I had a Fila shoe and the bottoms broke so fast. it had holes in them xD. I still have one pair though.

this is Mylee

@ David P I've seen the slides before but never have had them Lol. @ Amella B IKR Converse are the best LoL !!!!

:-( So sad

:-( So sad

:( :(

That is sad. He looked nice. Oh!! I found a typo!! "Found" instead of "fund"! Cool!! Not cool there was a typo but that I found the typo!! I like most brands of shoes. As long as they look nice.

I like Nike. It's sad how he

I like Nike. It's sad how he died. I wonder how the fire started


I don't really have a favorite shoe brand!

@Mylee S

I like Converse for their looks and Asics for sports.

this is Mylee

Evelyn I've never heard of that brand but will look bc I don't have very good sports shoes !


thats were i buy all my shoes

I wonder what will happen to the Company

the Zappos company was really good they were really good with costumer service and stufff like that I hope it doesn't change after this

21st comment P.S. This is Caro

I hope he is in Heaven now...

To Caro

I agree! My mom always say that I have a passionate heart, because I always pray that whoever has died goes to Heaven. I hope he didn't have a painful death! That is what I hope for everyone. I can't stand it when people have painful deaths. But strangely, I love watching murder shows.

World Watch

I forgot to mention that I heard this on World Watch. Does anyone watch World Watch with the Big Bash, as he calls himself? It's a Christian news that's about 10-15 min.

I thank him for helping Las

I thank him for helping Las Vegas. I lived there for most of my life because I was born there and I just recently moved to Boulder City Nevada. It was so sad to see the Las Vegas Strip dark when the shutdown occurred I was supposed to enjoy a lot of things on the Strip. So so sad

@cheyln D

You live in Nevada! it's so hot in that state. I was passing by their and boy, is it Hot! How do you live there! Even California isn't as hot as Nevada.

We watch World Watch with the

We watch World Watch with the big bash but just the short free one! :)

We watch World Watch with the

We watch World Watch with the big bash but just the short free one! :)

We watch World Watch with the

We watch World Watch with the big bash but just the short free one! :)

@Cheylyn D

I've been to Los Vegas and I went down the street with all the shops and casinos. It was really pretty though I wish there weren't so many casinos.

@David P and Alaina H

David P: It is really hot here. The weather is also dry so it's less likely that people who've been there all their lives will have arthritis. All you need to do is drink a lot of water.
The worst natural disaster we have in our area is flash floods, but those are rare since it barely rains. There is also heavy wind. It's nice in the fall/springtime.

Alaina H: Yeah I have a hard time breathing in casinos and the smell of smoke makes everything stinks, but those casinos (and small shops) are the economy of Las Vegas. when covid hit, many ma-and-pop shops and some casinos were closed for good. we are trying to recover but is hard tho...

@cheyln D

I was in a ma and pa shop that was south korean. It was good food but not so good deserts.


Well, that's sad. When did he die?:(

That's sad

That's really sad that he died, but it's amazing what people are saying about him and his life. It makes me wonder what people would say about my life if something happened to me.

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