Longtime Zappos CEO to Retire; Replacement Named
Following Tony Hsieh’s decision to step down as CEO of Zappos after 21 years, Kedar Deshpande has taken the reins at the Amazon-owned company. Importantly, Deshpande — who joined Zappos in 2011 — understands the unique corporate culture and company values that Zappos is well known for. He will lead Zappos as the retailer continues to expand beyond its footwear roots and competes in a digital space that's more competitive than ever before. Like many employees at Zappos, Deshpande has steadily risen through the ranks during his nine years at the company.
Total Retail's Take: Hsieh has been at the helm of one of the most innovative and successful retail companies over the last two decades. He built Zappos on a platform of service, and one that just happened to sell shoes. He won't be easily replaced, especially at a time when sound leadership is perhaps more critical than ever. That tall task will fall to Deshpande, who has held eight different roles at Zappos, rising to the COO role about a year ago. It's expected that Zappos, under the direction of Deshpande, will continue to expand its reach into categories beyond shoes.