Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Happy Making $36,000 A Year Working For Amazon Posted Sep 10, 2010 12:48pm EDT by Henry Blodget in Investing, Tales of the Valley Related: AMZN
One of the most striking Internet success stories in recent years is Zappos, the $1+ billion e-commerce business which was bought last year by Amazon. But, as is often the case, the Zappos empire was not created overnight. Ten years ago, the online retailer known for selling shoes was actually desperate for sales. It wasn’t until a young Tony Hsieh came aboard in 1999 -- as a business consultant and investor -- did that all begin to change. Hsieh’s unorthodox approach to company culture turned Zappos not only into a very lucrative business, but one beloved by customers and employees alike. He was named CEO in 2000 and attributes Zappos’ success to sticking by the company’s core values, which were designed to make employees happy. “Our number one priority at Zappos is company culture. Our belief is that if we get the culture right most of the other stuff like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand for the company will happen naturally on its own,” says Hsieh who is also the author of a new book “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.” Hsieh, 36, has stayed CEO of Zappos, despite making a salary that one would normally associate with an entry-level customer-service rep--$36,000 a year. Hsieh has been so successful as an entrepreneur that money no longer motivates him. What does, he says, is continuing to develop the company and culture that the Zappos team built over the past decade. And, so far, Amazon has allowed him to do that. He must be on to something: Fortune magazine named Zappos #15 on its annual ranking of “Best Companies to Work For” at the beginning of the year. Born for business
Hsieh, a first-generation Taiwanese-American, was only in his mid-20s when he joined the Zappos team. He may have been fresh out of college, but he...
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