David Goldberg, SurveyMonkey exec and MN native, dies suddenly


Dave Goldberg, chief executive of SurveyMonkey and the husband of Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, died suddenly Friday night. He was 47.

Goldberg grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from the Blake School in 1985. He went to college at Harvard, earning his degree in 1989.

Goldberg was described as a "serial entrepreneur" and venture capitalist, and was well known and well liked in Silicon Valley and technology circles, according to the New York Times.

"Our sympathy goes out to [the family] and to all who were touched by this extraordinary man. We are all heartbroken," said the statement from SurveyMonkey.

Friends and colleagues expressed shock at Goldberg's sudden death, and tributes to him poured in on his Facebook page, Twitter and other social media.

They described him as a humble, modest, generous and supportive of others.

A friend of Goldberg's, Kara Swisher, wrote a heartfelt remembrance of him on the ReCode technology news site. She was one of many who described Goldberg as a "mensch."

"That is exactly the word you would use to describe Dave — a Yiddish term that means a person of integrity and honor, a standup-guy, someone to admire and emulate, a rock of humanity."

SurveyMonkey did not disclose details of his death. But Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook and a friend of the family, said Goldberg died while he and his wife were on vacation abroad, according to the Times.

Goldberg joined SurveyMonkey, an online survey provider, in 2009, after working for Yahoo and Benchmark Capital for several years. Under his leadership its value has grown to nearly $2 billion, the Times reports.

Goldberg lived in Menlo Park, Calif. with Sandberg and their two children.

He is also survived by his mother Paula Goldberg, who is co-founder and executive director of the PACER Center in the Twin Cities, a nonprofit organization that provides support to parents of children with disabilities.

Goldberg's father was an associate dean and professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, according to the Washington Post.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be sent to the David B. Goldberg Endowment, c/o Pacer Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, MN, 55437, according to the Star Tribune.

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