Visionary Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh dies, aged 46

The former chief executive of Zappos Tony Hsieh has died at the age of 46.

The entrepreneur and venture capitalist was injured in a house fire in Connecticut, US, while visiting relatives last week over Thanksgiving.

He died on Friday “peacefully and surrounded by family”, according to a statement from DTP Companies, the organisation he founded in 2012 as an umbrella for a downtown Las Vegas revitalisation programme.

Hsieh retired as chief executive of online shoe and clothing company Zappos in August this year, after 21 years with the business.

Often described as a visionary by those in the industry, Hsieh sold his first company, a marketing tech firm called LinkExchange, to Microsoft in 1998 when he was 24.

READ MORE: Nike slashes ties with 9 major wholesalers as it pushes to “create the marketplace of the future”

Hsieh used the proceeds from the sale to form a venture capital firm called Venture Frogs, and went on to begin investing in ShoeSite.com, which was later rebranded as Zappos.

The businessman is credited with helping Zappos attain huge growth as an ecommerce start-up, which was sold to Amazon for around $1.2 billion in 2009.

“The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being,” Zappos chief executive 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.”

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