Passing of a Visionary: Tony Hsieh, former Zappos CEO, dies at 46

National News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tony Hsieh, former CEO of retail giant Zappos and founder of DTP, has passed away at the age of 46.

DTP Companies, formerly known as the Downtown Project, confirmed the visionary died peacefully with family by his side in Connecticut. The company released a statement, including words from Hsieh’s family. It reads:

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.

On behalf of all DTP Companies employees and staff, we would like to express our deepest condolences to Tony’s family and friends who have all lost Tony as a cherished loved one, visionary and friend. Tony was highly regarded by all of his fellow friends and colleagues in the tight-knit family at DTP Companies, so this heartbreaking tragedy is one that affects many involved.

We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy during this most difficult and challenging time.”

DTP Companies and the Hsieh Family

Downtown Partnership spokesperson Megan Fazio later added:

He was a humanitarian. A forward thinker who saw the happiness ahead of dollars. He bridged businesses, community and all walks of life towards the end.

Tony was a kind visionary. He helped revitalize DTLV and believed in people’s passions.

There is no human that met Tony and didn’t fall in love with his humanity.”

Hsieh was often called a visionary, but he didn’t start that way. He once said his passion for business didn’t begin with shoes, but with earthworms. When that didn’t pay off, he tried other things.

“Bought a bunch of them and thought I could produce more worms, but that didn’t work out,” Hsieh shared in an earlier interview. “They all escaped … There was the lemonade stand. There was the small mail order button business, where I would make the buttons that people would pin on.”

After graduating from Harvard, he created and sold a website with his roommate and made $265 million. After that, he invested that money into Zappos back in 1999.

The retailer, which started out purely selling shoes, expanded its empire to include everything from handbags to clothing and accessories. Headquarters were moved to Henderson in 2004, and Amazon eventually bought the company in 2009 for around $1.2 billion.

8 News Now’s Tedd Florendo got to speak with Hsieh back in 2012. They spoke about his goals and success. When asked if he considers himself ambitious, he replied:

“I guess I wouldn’t say ambitious. Just the type of person who gets bored easily.”

Hsieh stepped down as Zappos’ CEO back in August 2020.

He also founded DTP in 2012. The initiative put $350 million into real estate, entertainment and tech startups around Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas.

Gov. Steve Sisolak expressed his condolences in a Tweet Friday night:

Derek Stevens, owner of two Downtown Las Vegas properties, Tweeted:

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