Silicon Valley and the wider world of technology are mourning the very sudden death of Dave Goldberg, a long time entrepreneur and investor, CEO of SurveyMonkey, husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, father and friend to many. The news was made public earlier today in a Facebook post from his brother Robert.
“It’s with incredible shock and sadness that I’m letting our friends and family know that my amazing brother, Dave Goldberg, beloved husband of Sheryl Sandberg, father of two wonderful children, and son of Paula Goldberg, passed away suddenly last night,” he wrote. “In this time of sorrow, we mourn his passing and remember what an amazing husband, father, brother, son and friend he was.”
His brother added that in lieu of donations, Sheryl and the couple’s children request that those who would like to share memories or pictures of Dave, to do so on Dave’s Facebook page. It’s filling up quickly with very touching thoughts and pictures, a testament to the person Dave was.
Dave had a large presence in the tech industry, in part because he wore so many hats — and wore them well.
As a founder himself, he had a very early and significant role to play in the digital music industry, by way of Launch Media, a music content service that was eventually acquired by Yahoo.
Then, as the executive leading Yahoo’s music business, he built what was (at the time) the world’s most used online music platform. He was an active investor in other startups and by many accounts was sought out for his wise advice by many.
At SurveyMonkey, Goldberg was leading the company into new territory, not just geographically but also strategically.
On the heels of a $250 million round of funding, he was working on products that would take SurveyMonkey beyond the basic idea of collecting data through online surveys, and into a particularly interesting and timely area of enterprise big data. New products like Benchmarks help companies better analyze the material they picked up in their surveys, for example, by extracting actionable sentiments from that raw information.
I met Dave only recently, in 2013, when he passed through London in the lead-up to SurveyMonkey opening an office in the city. Certainly I didn’t know him as well as some of the others who have written about his passing (in addition to the post from his brother, there are two great posts at Fortune and Re/code).
I thought Dave was instantly personable, someone who put you at ease when he talked with you. I felt like you could ask about many things — SurveyMonkey, the future of big data, his opinion about another company, or London real estate prices. Whatever it was, the answers were worth hearing and interesting.
Death is never easy, and boy is it sad when it comes too soon. (Is there a right time? I don’t know.) Very deepest condolences from us at TechCrunch to Dave Goldberg’s family.