Tony Hsieh, former CEO and a visionary tech-preneur of clothing company Zappos, passed away recently on Friday (11/27) after complications following a house fire previously on November 18.
Hsieh retired from the position last summer.
"Though Tony retired this past summer, we know what a tremendous impact he has had on both Zappos and on Zapponians, as he has dedicated the past 20 years focusing on the success of both the company and our employees," Kedar Deshpande, his successor, pays a touching tribute on the company's website.
Several close friends and associates, including businesswoman and President Trump's daughter Ivanka, gave Hsieh one last final respect.
"Tony was driven by the mission of delivering happiness & brought joy to all who knew him," she tweets, calling the former CEO a 'close friend' of hers.
"Tony would want us to celebrate his life, rather than lament his passing," she continues.
The Event's Chronology
As the BBC reported, Hsieh was on a family visit during the time of the unfortunate accident. DTP Companies released an official statement regarding the incident, saying that Hsieh was with his family when he passed away.
However, Insider's recent finding reveals that the former boss was visiting a longtime Zippos employee, Rachael Brown. The latter was one of the first 100 employees of the company back in 2004.
The Day, a local newspaper, noted that the incident took place on 500 Pequot Ave in New London, Connecticut, at 3:34 AM. One victim, believed to be Hsieh, was trapped in the basement before being rescued by the firefighters. The rescuers revealed that he suffered from "possible burns and inhalation," and later performed CPR and hospitalized at the Bridgeport Hospital.
Unfortunately, Hsieh could not be saved. No further details were released.
Tony Hsieh was a familiar face in the tech and fashion industry.
Coming up from a Taiwanese immigrant family, Hsieh graduated from Harvard in 1996 and developed an internet advertising network called LinkExchange. He sold the company to Microsoft, a rising star in the computing world at the time, for a whopping $265 million in 1998.
It wasn't until 1999 when Hsieh and his close friends came up with the idea of selling shoes online, calling it ShoeSite at the time. Together, they grew Zappos until Amazon acquired the company for $1 billion in 2009. Hsieh stayed at the company as the CEO until his retirement on August 24, 2020.
Hsieh also wrote a book, titled Delivering Happiness, which centers on treating customers and employees in 2010. The book became a best-selling piece of work, debuting atop the New York Times Best Seller List.
Rest easy, Tony Hsieh. Thank you for delivering happiness.