Late Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s Estate Sued for .5M Based on Post-it Note
A man has filed a $12.5 million creditor’s claim with the estate of late Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. The internet entrepreneur was worth a reported $840 million when he died in November 2020.
The claim is based mostly on a Post-it note.
Mark Evensvold’s claim – filed last week in Hsieh’s probate case in Clark County District Court – said that he had a contract to work on several projects for Hsieh. These included a bar, a magic-themed entertainment venue, and an ice-skating rink in the ski town of Park City, Utah. The latter is where Hsieh relocated after stepping down from his Zappos job in August 2020. The claim includes a copy of the sticky note containing what Evensvold claims was his employment contract.
Dated Aug. 19, 2020, Evensvold claims it promised him $450,000 a year and a signing bonus that included 20% of Hsieh’s 25% interest in Nacho Daddy. That’s the Mexican restaurant chain where Evensvold worked before accepting Hsieh’s employment offer. Evensvold also 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 said.
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 dangerous 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, according to 2021 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Evensfold’s filing is part of the legal probate process necessary for claims made against people who die without leaving a will. In December 2020, a judge named his father and brother as special administrators of his estate.
Hsieh died in a house fire in November 2020 in Connecticut. He was 46. 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 years leading up to his death.
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