Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay) has died at the age of 46. His death was due to injuries he sustained from a house fire while he was with his brother in Connecticut over Thanksgiving, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
“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.”
Hsieh in August announced his retirement from the company after 20 years, marking the end of a chapter for the eccentric but widely admired entrepreneur.
During his tenure leading the company, Hsieh moved the company’s headquarters from San Francisco to Las Vegas as part of a larger effort to make Vegas the new Silicon Valley. While the full scope of his vision hasn’t panned out, he made a name for himself in the business community and brought noteworthy attractions to the city, including Container Park and the “Life is Beautiful” music festival.
The former CEO also made headlines when he created “Llamapolis,” a mini community where Hsieh lived with his two alpacas.
From selling pizza in his dorm room to seeing Zappos acquired by Amazon, here’s what you need to know about Hsieh’s career rise.