Tony Hsieh remembered
“Always be unapologetically true to yourself in business and in life.” These wise words were spoken by the late Tony Hsieh, who lived by them every day.
I’m so sad that Tony has died, aged just 46, in a tragic house fire. Everyone at Virgin sends our very best wishes to all of Tony’s loved ones. I was fortunate to cross paths with Tony many times as he built his business Zappos into an internet giant. He did so by instilling it with a purpose and vision that was all about supporting and empowering his people.
The quote above comes from a joint interview we did with Forbes, and another thing he said stands out now too. When asked about his business essentials, he said: “Invest in long-term things like culture, service, and brand in the good times because they will carry you through the bad times.”
I remember visiting Tony’s projects in Las Vegas, Zappos and The Downtown Project, and seeing first hand how he put these values into action. Zappos and Tony were great supporters of 100% Human at Work, our Virgin Unite initiative focused on developing, testing and sharing innovative ideas to shape a better future of work.
Their support included co-hosting an event with us in Las Vegas and Tony speaking at several gatherings. Every time, his words and actions had an impact on how I thought, but also how I felt. He was a lovely, special man, and is a huge loss to the world.