Zappos CEO Hsieh: How I Hit the ‘Perfect Working Environment’

By Robert Reiss

How important is corporate culture to your company? Tony Hsieh, CEO of, explains how he discovered the perfect working environment.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of, spoke to The CEO TV Show about how important corporate culture is in business success. Hsieh learned this lesson with his first company when he suddenly found out that he didn’t want to wake up and go to his company in the morning. So he sold it for $265 million. When he became CEO of, Hsieh knew he couldn’t be successful unless corporate culture was at the very heart of the business.

Hsieh explained to me: “I realized that if I spent most of my waking life working with people with the same values as I have, then we would be successful. So up to the first 100 people I’d interview every employee.”

After the first 100 employees, he went on, they had to systemize the process. As CEO of Zappos, Hsieh now puts all employees through two interview processes: The first to ensure the candidate has the requisite background and could add value to the company; the second to determine whether there is a culture fit. If candidates don’t pass the second interview, they don’t get hired, irrespective of how well they could have added their unique skills to the company.

In this video interview I ask Hsieh to explain more about the importance of corporate culture in business success.

Click here to watch the full interview and find out how Zappos was sold to for more than $1 billion.
Originally published: Sep 7, 2011

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