Tony Hsieh was locked in room during house fire: Report
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New details emerge around Zappos founder Tony Hsieh's death after a house fire

tony hsieh
Tony Hsieh in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 8, 2012.
Chris Farina/Corbis via Getty Images
  • Zappos visionary Tony Hsieh died in late November after sustaining injuries in a house fire at a Connecticut home.
  • According to a new Forbes report, he sustained those injuries after locking himself in a storage area in the home, and it's not clear whether it was accidental or on purpose.
  • While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, a coroner ruled his death accidental.
  • In a statement to Forbes, Hsieh's father, Richard, said, "We are so deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and respect shown in the wake of Tony's passing. There is no human that did not fall in love with Tony's humanity, which is why so many have been left heartbroken."
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Tony Hsieh, the late visionary behind online retailer Zappos, died after locking himself in a storage area at the Connecticut home he was staying at when a fire broke out in November, according to a new Forbes report. The report said it was not clear whether he locked himself in accidentally or on purpose.

He died days later after sustaining injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, though a coroner said Hsieh's death was accidental. 

In a statement to Forbes, Hsieh's father, Richard, said, "We are so deeply grateful for the outpouring of love and respect shown in the wake of Tony's passing. There is no human that did not fall in love with Tony's humanity, which is why so many have been left heartbroken."

Hsieh retired from his role at Zappos in August after 20 years with the company. Hsieh was known for his out-of-the-box workplace policies, including the practice of "Holacracy," a system with a flat work hierarchy that allows employees to work without assigned roles and more flexibility as Business Insider's Avery Hartmans reported. He also pioneered the concept of paying new, unhappy employees $2,000 to quit to weed out those who wouldn't be as committed to and passionate about their work at Zappos.

Tributes from investors, tech founders, and others took over Twitter in the wake of his death, including former 2020 presidential candidate and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Yang tweeted on November 28 that Hsieh's death left him "stunned."

"Tony Hsieh touched so many lives and inspired so many entrepreneurs," Yang said. "His impact and legacy will go on and on."

Forbes interviewed more than 20 of Hsieh's close friends and colleagues, many of whom described a shift in his lifestyle in recent months. Forbes reported that Hsieh's struggles with drugs became more pronounced in the last year, and his mental health was heavily affected by the social-distancing protocols enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Forbes' full report here »

SEE ALSO: Tony Hsieh, the former visionary CEO of Zappos, has died. Here's how his radical business philosophy transformed Zappos and made him 'a pioneer of a company culture.'

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