Posted on: March 30, 2023, 06:14h.
Last updated on: March 30, 2023, 06:14h.
The estate of late former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has settled a lawsuit filed in 2021 by a former employee of a Las Vegas restaurant Hsieh invested in.
According to court records, Mark Evensvold, the former director of operations and director of business development for Nacho Daddy, claimed he is owed $12.5M of Hsieh’s estate due to an employment contract they inked on a Post-it Note in 2020.
Hsieh was worth a reported $840M when he died at age 46 in a Connecticut house fire on Nov. 26, 2020. The internet entrepreneur did not leave a will.
Dated Aug. 19, 2020, Evensvold claims his contract — which loosely defined his responsibilities as “work on random projects like koi fish or tree houses” — promised him $450K a year and a signing bonus that included 20% of Hsieh’s 25% interest in Nacho Daddy.
Evensvold’s claim included a “transcript of the conversation” between the two men outlining the terms of their deal. A “court recorder” was present to document the conversation, according to the claim.
“But for Tony’s offer of the signing bonus, Evensvold would not have entered into the agreement, would not have resigned from Nacho Daddy, and would not have relocated from Las Vegas to Park City,” Evensvold’s claim stated.
Earlier this month, the Hsieh estate settled a similar lawsuit filed in 2021 by Hsieh’s financial manager, Tony Lee, who claimed breach-of-contract damages of $7M.
Both lawsuits were part of the legal probate process necessary for claims made against people who die without leaving a will. Neither settlement amount was disclosed.
Hsieh’s Sad Downfall
Hsieh transformed Zappos into the first billion-dollar internet shoe giant following his takeover of the company in 1999. After moving its base of operations from San Francisco to Henderson, Nev., and later to Las Vegas, he also transformed a section of downtown Las Vegas from a crime-ridden area to a hipster haven.
He was also known for his eccentricities, including living with an alpaca in an Airstream in a downtown trailer park, and conducting his business unconventionally – including via sticky notes. Hsieh had walls covered with Post-its.
Court documents filed by Hsieh’s family last year indicated Hsieh used ketamine and nitrous oxide in the years before his death. According to friends, Hsieh used “as many as 50 cartridges of nitrous oxide a day, often in public, or during ‘meetings’ with people,” documents said.
Lawyers for Hsieh’s estate have repeatedly written in court documents that Hsieh did not have the mental capacity to sign off on contracts in the months and even years leading up to his death.
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