Tech CEO Goldberg died of head trauma in exercise accident

Dave Goldberg, CEO of Survey Monkey
David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, spoke on the center stage during Day 2 of the 2014 Web Summit at the RDS on Nov. 5, 2014, in Dublin, Ireland.
Stephen McCarthy | SPORTSFILE via Getty Images

SurveyMonkey CEO David Goldberg died of severe head trauma in an exercise accident in the Mexican resort town of Punta Mita, a Mexican state official said Monday.

Goldberg, 47, who grew up in Minneapolis and was married to Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, was found lying next to a treadmill Friday at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta.

The official said Goldberg left his room at about 4 p.m. to exercise, and family members went to look for him after he didn't return. He was found at about 6:30 p.m. in one of the resort's gymnasiums lying by a treadmill, having suffered a blow to the back of his head. He apparently had slipped on the treadmill and hit the machine, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said Goldberg was still alive when discovered, but died later at a hospital in Nuevo Vallarta.

The family had checked in April 30 at the exclusive resort.

A source close to the family said a California service was being planned.

In an interview last month, Goldberg told the news site Business Insider of maxing out his credit cards in the early 1990s to fund one of his first Internet ventures, a music site, before going on to work at other tech companies, including Yahoo.

Goldberg grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from The Blake School in 1985. His mother, Paula Goldberg, is executive director of the PACER Center, which provides services for families of children with disabilities.

David and his brother Rob visited Blake last year to accept the 2014 Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award, according to the school's Facebook page.

The brothers "encouraged students to think creatively and treat each other kindly," the school wrote. "As both a student and innovative leader, Dave brought a unique mix of brilliance, humor and heart to everything he did."

In 2004, David Goldberg married Sandberg, another longtime tech executive, who now serves as Facebook's chief operating officer.

Sandberg launched an international conversation about the dearth of women in positions of power with her 2011 book "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead."

In it, Sandberg wrote of the adjustments she and her husband had to make to manage two high-profile careers while raising two children.

Goldberg was a "true partner," she wrote, and he helped make her career possible.

"I truly believe that the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is," Sandberg wrote.

Goldberg's brother asked on Facebook for friends and families to post their memories on David Goldberg's Facebook page. Tributes rolled in from people who wrote of meeting him during his long tech career.

On Monday, the Walt Disney Co. moved up its earnings release to Tuesday morning to allow executives to attend Goldberg's funeral. Sandberg is a member of Disney's board of directors. The earnings report was originally scheduled for the afternoon following the stock market close.

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