In truly sad and shocking news, former Zappos CEO and serial internet entrepreneur Tony Hsieh has passed away at age 46. Earlier this evening it was confirmed that Hsieh passed away peacefully surrounded by family members.
Hsieh’s motto was “Delivering Happiness” which he instilled into Zappo’s culture and used as the title of a book that he published in 2010 shortly after selling Zappos to Amazon for $1.2 Billion. Tony is credited with helping revitalize Downtown Las Vegas along with numerous other philanthropic projects that served Zappos’ hometown of Las Vegas.
While CEO of Zappos, the company completely revolutionized online shopping at a time that the concept was very much in its infancy. Zappos is largely credited by the e-commerce industry with setting the standard for customer service and forever changed customer expectations for online ordering when they instituted customer-friendly policies such as free shipping, free return shipping, and a 365-day return policy.
Prior to his time at Zappos, Tony Hsieh was the CEO of LinkExchange which was one of the very first banner ad exchange networks. He joined the group for its launch in March of 1996 and oversaw the growth to over 5 million ads rotated daily before selling to Microsoft for $265 Million.
Following the sale of LinkExchange, Hsieh launched Venture Frogs and made early investments into other internet companies that include Ask Jeeves, OpenTable, and Zappos.
Details of Tony’s death have not been made public by his family.
Rest in peace, Tony.