Zappos Denies Story peHUB Didn’t Publish

Zappos this evening issued a public statement that it wants to quash rumors that Sequoia Capital “forced” the company to sell itself to Amazon. The implication is that peHUB claimed that Sequoia “forced” the sale. To be clear, we made no such claim.

We wrote, in part:

“Two sources who do not hold board seats, but are directly involved with Zappos, indicated that Moritz and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh came into conflict about the company’s future. Moritz, the sources say, wanted Zappos to sell while Hsieh wanted to remain independent.”

We stand by our reporting. A venture capitalist and CEO disagreeing about the future of a company happens all the time. The two groups may disagree on how best to serve shareholders, fight hard for their position and, hopefully, work it out in the end.

The Zappos sale to Amazon seems to have appeased both parties, no matter the disagreements that preceded it. Moritz got liquidity and Hsieh got to maintain some level of operational independence. In fact, Hsieh says just this in the statement sent to peHUB.

The following is an email we were sent by a Zappos PR rep:

I saw the article from Alexander Haislip regarding the Zappos acquisition and wanted to pass along an official quote for your information.

Regarding the rumors Sequoia forced the sale, Tony Hsieh states, “The articles and rumors of Sequoia forcing us to sell are simply not accurate. Nobody was forced to sell to Amazon. The Zappos board was united in believing that joining forces with Amazon would be in the best long term interests of our employees, customers, shareholders, and other stakeholders. The Amazon deal got us the best of all worlds: we can continue to run independently and grow the Zappos brand and culture, our small and larger investors are getting rewarded for all their contributions to Zappos over the last decade, and we don’t have to deal with the headache and overhead of running a public company.”

For more on why this acquisition is different from many other acquisitions and why we’re excited about joining forces with Amazon here:

By law, Zappos is unable to provide any information beyond what’s in the letter due to the “quiet period” mandated by the SEC. As such, they are not doing any interviews at this time.

We will reach back out to you when we can talk more openly about the transaction.

Despite those last lines, peHUB nonetheless has reached out for further comment, and will update this post if it is forthcoming.