For years, Zappos.com has been an online shopping destination for people looking for a deal. The company was founded in July of 1999 by Nick Swinmurn. Zappos, which started out as Shoesite.com, is now owned by Amazon.
Tony Hsieh was Zappos' CEO from the beginning and only retired from the position in August 2020. In November 2020, he passed away from complications from smoke inhalation at 46 years old. Hhe was pulled from a house fire in New London, Conn. while visiting family. Hsieh wasn't responsive when firefighters rescued him.
During Hsieh's lifetime, he became a New York Times bestselling author and owned multiple properties in addition to being Zappos' CEO. Forbes reported that at the time of Hsieh's retirement, he had a net worth of $840 million.
Tony Hsieh at Zappos: Structure Culture and Change
In November 2016, the case study "Tony Hsieh at Zappos: Structure Culture and Change" was published. The case study was written by Noah Askin, the assistant professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, Gianpiero Petriglieri, the associate professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, and assisted by Joanna Lockard. The case study looked at a big decision Hsieh made at Zappos the previous year.
In March 2015, Hsieh sent a memo to Zappos staff saying that he wanted to move faster toward a holacracy. A holacracy is a philosophy where people and teams manage themselves. To do so, he decided to give employees an option — a three-month severance package and additional benefits if they didn't feel the move was right for them.
After the deadline, it was reported that 14 percent of Zappos' staff left the company including 20 percent of the tech department. According to The Case Centre, the case study won the Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour category at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions of 2018.
Tony Hsieh's "home buying spree" in Park City
KPCW reported that Hsieh went on what's being called a "home buying spree" in Park City, Utah. Nine properties in the area were linked to LLCs he owned. One of the properties is a 17,000 square foot mansion with a tennis court, private lake, and a horseback riding corral. Hsieh also bought the Big Moose Yacht Club and reportedly wanted to keep using it as an event space.
Tony Hsieh's house was a small airstream
Although Hsieh owned a number of properties in Utah, he lived in Las Vegas before his death. A Business Insider article said that he turned a parking lot into a "micro-living oasis" in 2014. Calling it "Llamapolis," he lived there with two alpacas, Marley and Triton.
"Llamapolis" is comprised of about 30 Airstream trailers and tiny homes. Other professionals in the tech space also live in and visit the area. Llamapolis features a pool and a large swing for its residents.
Tony Hsieh's book "Delivering Happiness"
In 2010, Hsieh published the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose that is all about his life lessons. From his business and professional lives, Hsieh shared the different things he learned from various business ventures including a worm farm when he was a child.
However, the book is about more than just business. Hsieh's book also focuses on happiness. Specifically, the book says that if you focus on the happiness of the people around you, you can increase your own. A Forbes article said that the book debuted on The New York Times Best Sellers List in part because Hsieh bought his way onto it.
Tony Hsieh didn't have a family of his own
Although Hsieh lived until he was 46, he never got married or had a family of his own. He had two sets of parents, Dave and Andy as well as Richard and Judy. Currently, it isn't clear who will be in control of Hsieh's estate.