BUSINESS

Dave Goldberg, Survey Monkey CEO And Husband Of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Dies Suddenly

05/02/2015 02:15 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2015
Robert Goldberg / Facebook

David Goldberg, the CEO of Survey Monkey and the husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, has died. He was 47.

Goldberg's brother, Robert, announced the news Saturday morning on Facebook, saying David "passed away suddenly last night":

It’s with incredible shock and sadness that I’m letting our friends and family know that my amazing brother, Dave...

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared the post, adding, “Dave Goldberg was an amazing person and I am glad I got to know him. My thoughts and prayers are with Sheryl and her family.”

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called the news “heartbreaking” in a tweet, and described Goldberg as “one of the truly great people on the planet … of almost unimaginably remarkable character.”

Sandberg and Goldberg in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July 2014. Photo credit: Scott Olson via Getty Images

“Dave’s genius, courage and leadership were overshadowed only by his compassion, friendship and heart,” Survey Monkey said in a statement following the news. “His greatest love was for his family. Our sympathy goes out to them and to all who were touched by this extraordinary man. We are all heartbroken.”

Arianna Huffington also shared Robert's post on Facebook, adding, "So deeply saddened and shocked by the death of Dave Goldberg. I was blessed to get to know him through his beloved wife Sheryl and to see firsthand what an amazing father, son, innovator, and caring friend he was."

Recode's Kara Swisher mourned the "incomprehensible" loss with a remark on "His unfailing kindness toward everyone, endless generosity with his time, insights and advice and basic great-guy personality made Dave — no one called him David, really — the heart and also soul of the tech and media community."

Remembrances also poured in on social media Saturday:

Goldberg rose to prominence in the tech industry in the 1990s, founding a company by the name of Launch Media in 1994, which he sold to Yahoo in 2001. He stayed on at Yahoo for six years, and then joined Benchmark Capital, where he served as an entrepreneur in residence.

He met Sheryl Sandberg in 1996, though the two didn’t start dating until 2002.

“We went out to dinner and a movie and hit it off. She fell asleep on my shoulder, which I thought was great," Goldberg recalled in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2013. "Turns out, I learned much later, she sleeps through every movie, on any shoulder that is available, but it worked on me at that moment of time."

In 2009, he headed to Survey Monkey and built it into a billion-dollar company, growing the staff from 14 to what is now 500, reports Business Insider. He had just celebrated his sixth anniversary at the company, calling it “one of [his] best decisions.”

Also on HuffPost:

  • Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images
    SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 09: JULY 10: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg arrives for the Allen & Co. annual conference on July 9, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The resort will host corporate leaders for the 31th annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference where some of the wealthiest and most powerful executives in media, finance, politics and tech gather for weeklong meetings which begins Tuesday. Past attendees included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    David Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, arrives for morning sessions at the 28th annual Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Thursday, July 8, 2010. Allen & Co., the boutique New York investment bank, invites executives from start-ups in media and technology to mingle with bankers and moguls at the event. The mixture, along with presentations trumpeting new business models, has led to acquisitions and investments in the past. P
  • Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of Surveymonkey, center, attends the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Friday, July 8, 2011. Media executives are gathering at Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference this week looking to shed assets such as the Hulu LLC video website and G4 game channel amid a declining global stock market and slowing economic growth.
  • David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Image
    David Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey, stands for a photograph after a Bloomberg via Getty Images West television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. Goldberg discussed the outlook for Pandora Media Inc. and the online music industry.
  • David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    David Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey, stands for a photograph after a Bloomberg via Getty Images West television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. Goldberg discussed the outlook for Pandora Media Inc. and the online music industry.
  • David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, smiles during a Bloomberg West Television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. SurveyMonkey.com LLC provides web-based survey solution offering solutions for customer and product feedback, market research, employee satisfaction, performance review, healthcare, event, education and automated phone surveys.
  • © Karsten Lemm/dpa/Corbis
    Under CEO David Goldberg, online market researcher SurveyMonkey has become one of the world's largest polling firms. Goldberg, photographed in front of the company logo at SurveyMonkey HQ in Palo Alto, CA, is the husband of Facebook COO and bestseller aut
  • Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., left, walks with her husband David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, as they arrive at the Sun Valley Lodge ahead of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Billionaires, chief executive officers, and leaders from the technology, media, and finance industries will gather this week at the Idaho mountain resort conference hosted by investment banking firm Allen & Co.
  • David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    David 'Dave' Goldberg, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey.com LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg West Television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Goldberg discussed the metrics of how Twitter is used.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and her husband David Goldberg walk to the morning session at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Wednesday, July 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS