LAS VEGAS (AP) â€” Tony Hsieh, the retired CEO of Las Vegas-based online shoe retailer Zappos.com who spent years working to transform the cityâ€™s downtown area, has died. He was 46.
Hsieh was with family when he died Friday, according to a statement from DTP Companies, which he founded. Downtown Partnership spokesperson Megan Fazio said Hsieh passed away in Connecticut, KLAS-TV reported.
Puoy Premsrirut, a lawyer for Hsieh, told news outlets that Hsieh had been injured in a house fire while visiting Connecticut. Additional details werenâ€™t immediately released. An official cause of death wasnâ€™t announced.
â€œTonyâ€™s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world,â€ a DTP Companies statement said. â€œDelivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.â€
Hsieh recently retired from Zappos after 20 years leading the company. The online shoe retailer shared a tribute on social media late Friday.
â€œThe world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,â€ the statement said. â€œHis spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.â€
Hsieh was a Harvard University graduate who joined the company â€” then called ShoeSite.com â€” in 1999. Zappos was sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009, but Hsieh had remained with the company until his retirement.
For years, he also worked to revitalize downtown Las Vegas, pledging $350 million in 2013 for redevelopment. The same year he moved Zapposâ€™ headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building.
â€œTony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,â€ Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night. â€œKathy and I send our love and condolences to Tonyâ€™s family and friends during this difficult time.â€
A wave of tributes poured out on social media as news of Hsiehâ€™s death spread.
â€œTony Hsieh might be the most original thinker Iâ€™ve ever been friends with,â€ former venture investor Chris Sacca tweeted. â€œHe questioned every assumption and shared everything he learned along the way. He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy.â€
Skateboarder and entrepreneur Tony Hawk added, â€œTony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone.â€
â€œA truly original thinker, a brilliant entrepreneur, and a kind-hearted and generous friend to so many,â€ tweeted entrepreneur Max Levchin.
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