Atrial Fibrillation contributing factor to Death, Autopsy suggests CEO Dave Goldberg had heart arrhythmia before death

Atrial Fibrillation contributing factor to Death, Autopsy suggests CEO Dave Goldberg had heart arrhythmia before death

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN




New details into the sudden death of SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg have been revealed following the release of an autopsy report.

That report, obtained by CBS News, suggests that the 47-year-old husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg had a heart arrhythmia which may have contributed to his apparent fatal fall.

At a private memorial service to honor her husband, David Goldberg, Sandberg told mourners: “Today we will put the love of my life to rest, but only his body…His spirit and soul are still with us.”

SurveyMonkey, Goldberg’s online survey service, was valued at $2 billion. Together he and Sandberg made up one of Silicon Valley’s highest-profile couples.

Hundreds of people gathered at Stanford University to pay their respects Tuesday, including Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, actor Ben Affleck and director George Lucas.

Singer Bono began the memorial with a rendition of U2’s hit song “One.”

“Dave Goldberg represented the best of the heart and soul of who we are as an industry,” family friend and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said.

“Dave was a huge part of everybody’s success. And you just have to look at him as an example of an incredibly loving father, an incredibly loyal husband, and he was always there for everybody,” he added.

Benioff said this was a “huge loss” for Silicon Valley, and “by far the biggest loss since Steve Jobs.”





David Goldberg

The first man of Silicon Valley

A feminist icon for the tech world

OUTSIDE Silicon Valley, few people would have recognised David Goldberg’s name. But millions read about him in “Lean In”, a popular book about how women can do better in the workplace. It was written by his wife, Sheryl Sandberg, the number-two executive at Facebook.

Ms Sandberg writes that the most important career choice a woman makes is whom she marries. A supportive spouse can help you excel; a jealous or lazy one may hold you back. Mr Goldberg, who died on May 1st, was one of the former. He gave his own stellar career (digital-music entrepreneur, Yahoo executive) lower priority than his wife’s even more stellar one. He left a job in Los Angeles to be in the Bay Area, where Ms Sandberg was a rising star at Google. He ran SurveyMonkey, an online-polling firm. When Ms Sandberg was offered a job at Facebook in 2008, he coached her to negotiate for a better pay package.

When their first child was born Ms Sandberg had hurt her leg and was on crutches, so Mr Goldberg took charge of the baby for the first week. He and his wife made an effort to be home early for dinner; both of them would continue working after the children had gone to bed. When a friend boasted he had been playing football when his wife gave birth (some men in the Valley are rather hands-off), Mr Goldberg scolded him for his inattentiveness.

It is hardly unusual for a billionaire to have a supportive spouse. Rich men have had them for generations. It is easier to succeed in the first place if you are part of a team, and the super-wealthy do not have to put up with unsupportive mates—they can always find another.

Nonetheless, people saw the Sandberg/Goldberg household as a model of modern feminism. Female superstars are still rare in Silicon Valley, and macho behaviour is still common. Mr Goldberg was often asked how he felt about living in his wife’s shadow; he made it clear that he was delighted by her success.

He died after collapsing on a treadmill while on holiday in Mexico. He was 47.





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