Tony Hsieh, who ran the footwear and clothing online retailer Zappos.com for about two decades, died at the age of 46 due to complications from injuries sustained in a house fire.
The fire broke out on Nov. 18 in New London, Connecticut, and Hsieh died on Nov. 27 from the injuries sustained during the incident.
Zappos started in 1999 as Shoesite.com, founded by Nick Swinmurn along with Hsieh and Alfred Lin, who invested in the company through their investment firm Venture Frogs. The same year the company’s name was changed to Zappos and Hsieh became co-chief executive in 2001 with Swinmurn.
In 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon in an all-share deal worth some $1.2 billion.
Hsieh retired from Zappos.com this summer and was replaced by the company’s chief operating officer Kedar Deshpande.
“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,” Deshpande wrote in a statement.
“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. We recognise that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend,” he added.
”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, and we will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he was so passionate about.”