LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos and founder of the DTP Companies, died on Friday at age 46.
A statement from DTP Companies, formerly Downtown Project, said he died "peacefully" on November 27 surrounded by family.
He died of injuries suffered in a Nov. 18 fire in New London, Connecticut, Downtown Partnership spokesperson Megan Fazio told Hearst Connecticut Media on Saturday. The Connecticut Medical Examiner said Hsieh's cause of death was "pending further studies," and would take 6-8 weeks to confirm.
The Day newspaper reported the day of the fire that one person had been removed from a waterfront home in New London with possible burns and smoke inhalation. The person, whose name authorities did not release, was eventually taken to Bridgeport Hospital, which has a burn center.
Fire Chief Thomas Curcio was quoted by The Day as saying that crews arrived around 3:30 a.m. after a report of someone trapped in part of the house, that firefighters had to force their way in, and that they removed the victim, performed CPR and took him to a hospital.
Read the full DTP statement below:
Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world. Delivering happiness was always his mantra, so instead of mourning his transition, we ask you to join us in celebrating his life.
On behalf of all DTP Companies employees and staff, we would like to express our deepest condolences to Tony’s family and friends who have all lost Tony as a cherished loved one, visionary and friend. Tony was highly regarded by all of his fellow friends and colleagues in the tight-knit family at DTP Companies, so this heartbreaking tragedy is one that affects many involved.
We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy during this most difficult and challenging time.
Hsieh graduated from Harvard University and joined the company — then called ShoeSite.com — 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 Zappos’ headquarters into the former Las Vegas City Hall building.
Hsieh stepped down as Zappos CEO in August and retired without an official announcement. He had served as leader for the downtown Las Vegas-based shoe and clothing seller for more than two decades.
Zappos released the following statement:
It is with very heavy hearts that we are sharing some very sad news with all of you, as we have learned that Tony passed away earlier today (11-27-20). Though Tony retired this past summer, we know what a tremendous impact he has had on both Zappos and on Zapponians, as he has dedicated the past 20 years focusing on the success of both the company and our employees.
The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being. We recognize that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend. Tony played such an integral part in helping create the thriving Zappos business we have today, along with his passion for helping to support and drive our company culture.
Tony’s kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, as his mantra was of “Delivering Happiness” to others. His spirit will forever be a part of Zappos, and we will continue to honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he was so passionate about.
The company also asked anyone with a memory of Hsieh to email CelebratingTony@zappos.com to pass along to his family.
REACTION SWEEPS SOCIAL MEDIA
A wave of tributes poured out on social media as news of Hsieh’s death spread.
"Tony Hsieh played a pivotal role in helping transform Downtown Las Vegas," Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted Friday night. "Kathy and I send our love and condolences to Tony’s family and friends during this difficult time."
"Very saddened to hear of the passing of Tony Hsieh. Such a creative & innovative person who positively helped change the landscape of Downtown Las Vegas, said Councilman Cedric Crear. "We have been working on some cool projects for Downtown. God speed to his family, coworkers and our community."
"What a tragic loss. Tony Hsieh meant so much to Las Vegas. He was always dreaming, working to inspire and leading others to create a new vision for tomorrow. Our prayers and sympathies to his family," said Mayor Carolyn Goodman on Saturday morning.
"Great man. To [sic] young to be gone," wrote Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore.
"Supporting this City and the people within it, Tony Hsieh changed the landscape of Downtown Las Vegas," downtown casino owner Derek Stevens tweeted Friday night. "Our community will miss him greatly, rest in peace. I will miss him greatly."
"The world lost you way too soon [Tony Hsieh]. Your curiosity, vision, and relentless focus on customers leave an indelible mark. You will be missed by so many, Tony. Rest In Peace," Amazon owner Jeff Bezos posted on Instagram.
"#OnlyInDistrictOne was made more exciting, more vibrant, and more of a community by the vision and generosity of Tony Hsieh. What a terrible loss for his family and friends," tweeted Congresswoman Dina Titus.
"A beautiful tribute to a true pioneer. Tony Hsieh was a visionary. He was generous with his time and willing to share his invaluable expertise with anyone. And he was very, very cool," professional skateboarded Tony Hawk tweeted.
He referenced a tweet by investor Chris Sacca: "Tony Hsieh might be the most original thinker I’ve ever been friends with. He questioned every assumption and shared everything he learned along the way. He genuinely delighted in making anyone and everyone happy. The earth has lost a beautifully weird and helpful person. RIP."
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, friends, and colleagues of Tony Hsieh. Tony was a business visionary like no other. He invested in dreams – both his own and those of other entrepreneurs. In doing so, he transformed Downtown Las Vegas into a thriving entertainment district fused with creativity and innovation. He will be truly missed, but his legacy will live on forever," said Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.