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Earlier this week, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh announced that he was stepping away from the Downtown Project, a major revitalization undertaking in Las Vegas structured as a living and working community for budding entrepreneurs. At the same time, the Downtown Project let go of 30 of its staff members.
Re/code, which has been covering the Downtown Project in an in-depth series all week, published a response from Hsieh that criticized the media for the way the Downtown Project was portrayed when the news broke that he was stepping down. He reiterated that the project was doing fine and the job cuts were a normal part of restructuring the business. Comments on a former employee's open letter published on Medium that publicly lambasted Hsieh and the poor management structure of the Downtown Project were noticeably absent from the response.
Re/code published Hsieh's response in its entirety with fair warning that they disagreed with most of his arguments. From their point of view, all is not well with the revitalization project. The most recent article in their reported series on the Downtown Project covers three suicides that were committed within the project's community of entrepreneurs over the last two years, tragedies that Hsieh appeared to try and cover up.
· Tony Hsieh Answers Some of Our Questions About the Future of Las Vegas's Downtown Project [Re/code]
· Zappos CEO Steps Down From Disastrous Las Vegas Project [Racked]
· Zappos Invented Its Own Facebook for Job Candidates [Racked]