Dave Goldberg, a popular and respected Silicon Valley entrepreneur and executive, and husband of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, died last night (May 1). Goldberg was the long-time CEO of SurveyMonkey. Previously, he founded an early digital music startup, which Yahoo acquired.
“Dave Goldberg was an amazing person and I am glad I got to know him,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted today on his Facebook profile. Zuckerberg invited friends to post photos and notes on Goldberg’s profile, and they have been streaming in.
“I will sorely miss our dinners and games, your generosity, sage counsel, sense of humor, your larger than life embrace,” Sky Dayton, the founder of pioneering internet service provider EarthLink, posted. “You made everything you touched better. A hole has just been ripped in the universe. No one could ever take your place.”
“You were our rock, always centered and so generous with your time and advice,” Tony Bates, an executive at GoPro, posted. “I’ll always remember how patient you were when you taught me how to play poker and how you always showed up to support me and my family.”
Goldberg was 47, according to long-time friend (and Silicon Valley journalist) Kara Swisher. “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,” Swisher wrote. Business Insider last month published an extensive profile and interview with Goldberg.
SurveyMonkey acknowledged his sudden—and, it seems, unexpected—death in a statement. “Dave’s genius, courage and leadership were overshadowed only by his compassion, friendship and heart.” It continued: “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.”
“I still believe in the triumph of hope over experience,” Goldberg said in a 2012 interview with the New York Times. “That’s what being an entrepreneur means.”