According to a pair of internal emails — first obtained by technology blog Tech Crunch — Lin revealed his plans to employees on March 24. CEO Tony Hsieh confirmed the moves in an email to Footwear News late Friday.
Lin told staff members that being a venture capitalist was always one of his career goals and that his new employer, Sequoia Capital, was a good fit.
“They’ve financed and helped built some really special and enormously successful companies, including Google, Yahoo, Paypal, YouTube, Cisco, Oracle, Apple and also Zappos,” he wrote in an email. “I had explored joining them twice, but things never really worked out before.”
Lin said it had been a difficult decision, but that he was excited about the next chapter. In addition, he and his wife are expecting a baby, and will be relocating to the San Francisco area, where Sequoia is based and the couple has extended family. Lin will officially leave Zappos early next year.
In a subsequent email message to employees, CEO Tony Hsieh assured employees that he, and merchandising head Fred Mossler, were not planning to leave the company.
“While we’ll be sad to see Alfred go, I want to lay to rest some rumors that I’ve been hearing through the grapevine about the possibility of Fred and/or me leaving Zappos,” Hsieh wrote in an email on March 25.
“As Fred likes to say, we’re just scratching the surface as to what Zappos can become, and the next several years are going to be very exciting as we continue to grow Zappos, 6pm, our clothing business and our other product lines. My book is set to launch June 7, and we’ve got some pretty cool stuff planned to take our culture to the next level, which I’ll be talking more about in future emails. Our business is growing at about 40 percent year over year, and our TV campaign is just getting started We’ve got more momentum than we’ve ever had in the history of the company.”
Hsieh closed the email with an interesting tidbit: “Fred and I are also working on a secret long-term project together, which, if everything works out, will be really, really cool and amazing for Zappos. We’re still in the exploratory stages right now, but we’re getting more excited about it as each day passes.”