Kit Steinkellner
May 04, 2015 10:00 am

We were heartbroken this weekend to learn that Dave Goldberg, the CEO of SurveyMonkey and husband to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, died unexpectedly on Friday night at the age of 47. He is survived by his wife, his two children, his mother Paula, and brother Robert.

His brother broke the news via Facebook on Saturday morning, writing:

By all accounts, Goldberg was an incredible person. As Fortune wrote in a piece remembering him, “It is with no hyperbole to say Goldberg was one of the most beloved among the truly successful people in Silicon Valley.” Continuing on to say, “You just don’t meet many people who are talented, successful, bright, kind, humble, and universally admired and liked.”

As CNN Money remembers, in Sandberg’s Lean In she repeatedly described her husband with all the love in the world.

She called Goldberg her, “best friend, closest advisor, dedicated coparent, and the love of my life . . . He supported me every step of the way, as he always does, with patience, great insight, humor and love.”

In the book she also touches on their marriage, one of true equals, and the work and attention that were needed to achieve that balance.

“Dave and I have had our share of bumps on our path to achieving a roughly fifty-fifty split,” she wrote. “After a lot of effort and seemingly endless discussion, we are partners not just in what we do, but in who is in charge. Each of us makes sure that things that need to get done do indeed get done. We are never at fifty-fifty at any given moment . . . but we allow the pendulum to swing back and forth between us.”

Since his death we’ve also learned more about his lifelong devotion to being a women’s advocate. The New York Times writes of Goldberg, “He was also perhaps the signature male feminist of his era: the first major chief executive in memory to spur his wife to become as successful in business as he was.”

His dedication to women extended to his role at SurveyMonkey as well. The Times reports, “Six out of 16 members of SurveyMonkey’s management team are female, an almost unheard-of ratio among Silicon Valley “unicorns,” or companies valued at over $1 billion.”

There is no mention of the news yet on Sheryl Sandberg’s social media, though her Twitter profile now holds a sting of heartbreak: “Facebook, mother of 2, wife of awesome guy, friend to many great women.”

We are devastated for Sheryl, their children, family and friends, and our thoughts are with them during this truly difficult time.

Image via