The business world lost a giant on Friday when Tony Hsieh, well known for his leadership of online shoe retailer Zappos.com, died at 46.
Puoy Premsrirut, a lawyer for Hsieh, told news outlets that Hsieh was injured in a house fire while visiting Connecticut, and multiple reports said he passed away from those injuries.
An official cause of death wasn’t announced.
Hsieh, the former Zappos CEO who retired in August after 20 years with the company, sold the Las Vegas-based business to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009 and stayed on until his retirement.
“Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world,” said a statement from DTP Companies, which Hsieh founded. “Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.”
Zappos posted a tribute on social media late Friday: “The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos.”
Hsieh, a Harvard University graduate who joined ShoeSite.com (which became Zappos) in 1999, was heavily involved in improving downtown Las Vegas. He contributed $350 million for redevelopment.
“Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas,” Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night. “Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Hsieh moved the Zappos headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building in 2013.
“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande said in a statement. “We recognize that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend.”